UPDATE: General manager Doug Melvin announced that Gamel has a torn ACL, which likely means season-ending surgery. Very tough break for a player who waited to get his shot.
Mat Gamel left yesterday’s game after injuring his right knee chasing a foul ball and now Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that the Brewers first baseman is headed back to Milwaukee to be examined by team doctors.
Manager Ron Roenicke sounded pretty pessimistic about Gamel’s status when asked immediately after the game, saying he feared it was serious and might be “a slight tear.”
Gamel has gotten off to a slow start as Prince Fielder’s replacement, hitting just .246 with a .641 OPS in 21 games after biding his time at Triple-A for multiple seasons. Milwaukee doesn’t have an obvious in-house replacement beyond Travis Ishikawa, so calling up Brooks Conrad or third base prospect Taylor Green from Triple-A could be options.
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.