This is fun: Caleb Lloyd, the guy who caught the home run balls hit on consecutive plays on Monday, was the Reds honorary game captain last night.
I’m guessing he also got the chance to meet Mike Leake and Zack Cozart, so there were all kinds of fringe benefits. No word on whether, had the Reds turned in a poor performance, he would have been allowed to call a closed-door meeting to rip them a new one.
Also, I’m assuming that despite his notable plays in the outfield stands on Monday, Dusty Baker will soon put him in the bullpen, because “that’s where he’s truly needed.”
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.