If the Cardinals are able to win either Game 6 or Game 7 in Milwaukee and advance to the World Series, they’ll have a nice treat waiting for them on the other end. And not just champagne, or Bud Light, or a larger share of playoff revenue.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, utilityman Skip Schumaker took part in a full workout Saturday at Miller Park and told the media “I’ll be ready” when asked afterward about his availability for the postseason’s final round.
Schumaker went 6-for-10 with two doubles and three RBI in the Cardinals’ impressive NLDS defeat of the Phillies. While not an elite defender, he’s capable of playing all outfield spots and second base. Nick Punto and Ryan Theriot have been handling starting duties at the keystone in Schumaker’s absence.
The Cards hold a 3-2 lead over the Brewers in the seven-game National League Championship Series.
MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh reports that the Cardinals are shutting down pitcher Carlos Martínez from throwing for two weeks because his shoulder strength isn’t where it should have been at this point. Langosch added that an MRI showed no structural damage in Martínez’s right shoulder.
Interestingly, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t sound too happy with Martínez offseason training regimen. Per Mark Saxon of The Athletic, Mozeliak said, “Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to that program.”
Martínez, 27, battled oblique and shoulder injuries last year. He accrued just 118 2/3 innings, making just 18 starts. He was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the disabled list in August and finished out the season in that role. Still, Martínez managed a 3.11 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 60 walks.
Langosch reported last week that the Cardinals were considering using Martínez in relief again in 2019. The latest news may push the Cardinals to indeed use Martínez out of the bullpen once again. He will be reevaluated in early March, but there is a chance he won’t be ready for Opening Day.