Jim Thome hit reasonably well since jumping into the middle of the Orioles’ lineup a month ago, hitting .261 with two homers and a .746 OPS in 18 games, but now the 41-year-old is on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his neck.
Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that Thome “will fly to Caifornia to get an epidural” and is eligible to return on August 12, although obviously given his age and history of back and neck problems that’s far from guaranteed.
In the meantime the Orioles activated Robert Andino from the DL to take Thome’s spot on the roster and he’ll resume starting at second base with Brian Roberts out.
And hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Thome.
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.