A cortisone injection has saved Ryan Zimmerman’s season.
As of June 23 he was struggling to play through right shoulder problems, hitting just .218 overall, and in the midst of a 13-for-78 (.167) slump. The next day Zimmerman got a cortisone shot in his ailing shoulder and he’s been on a ridiculous tear ever since.
Zimmerman homered twice yesterday, making him 40-for-102 (.392) with 11 homers and a 1.255 OPS in 25 games since the cortisone shot.
Prior to the injection he was 48-for-220 (.218) with three homers and a .590 OPS in 55 games.
Now the question is when does the cortisone shot wear off and how soon can he get another one?
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.