Brian Roberts to begin rehab assignment Wednesday

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Brian Roberts hasn’t appeared in a major league game since last May 16. But that may soon change.

According to MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli, Roberts is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Wednesday evening with the Double-A Bowie Baysox.

The Orioles want to let the veteran second baseman get through a week or two of games before beginning to talk about a return date for fear that he might suffer yet another setback in his year-long battle with post-concussion syndrome. But he’s currently on track for a mid-to-late June activation.

Roberts, 34, owns a .281/.353/.416 career batting line. He could certainly be of help to the first-place O’s.

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.