MRI exam on Taylor Teagarden’s back injury “raised some concerns”

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X-rays last week revealed no major damage after Taylor Teagarden tweaked his lower back lifting weights, but Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that an MRI exam “raised some concerns.”

Teagarden is scheduled to be examined by a back specialist “to go over options” and Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com writes that there’s “no talk of surgery yet.” Yet being the key word, of course.

If healthy Teagarden is in line to back up Matt Wieters after the Orioles acquired him from the Rangers in December.

Teagarden has hit just .220 in 118 games as a big leaguer, but his .703 OPS is decent for a catcher and he’s good defensively behind the plate. Ronny Paulino and John Hester are the Orioles’ other catching options.

Cardinals shut down Carlos Martínez for two weeks due to shoulder issue

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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.