Sergio Santos aiming to return as Blue Jays closer in two weeks

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Francisco Cordero has struggled as the Blue Jays’ fill-in closer, but he may only have to do the job for another couple weeks.

Sergio Santos is scheduled to resume throwing on Tuesday and told Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com that he hopes to return from an inflamed shoulder within 2-3 weeks.

Santos has been out since April 21 and in his absence Cordero has blown two of four save chances with a 7.20 ERA. Toronto made it very clear all along that Santos would remain the full-time closer whenever he returned and Cordero’s performance certainly hasn’t done anything to change those plans.

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.