Denard Span out for 10th straight day, too claustrophobic for MRI exam

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For the 10th straight day Denard Span is out of the Twins’ lineup because of a shoulder injury but still on the active roster instead of being placed on the disabled list.

That’s become an odd trend for the Twins since last season, although 10 days of playing with a 24-man roster is extreme even for them.

To make matters worse, after a week on the sidelines the Twins finally decided to give Span a pair of MRI exams … and he couldn’t complete the second one because he’s claustrophobic:

I don’t know what else to say. It’s embarrassing that I couldn’t get it done today, but bottom line, I stayed there for an hour trying to get it done. Just couldn’t do it, man. I tried my best. When they strapped me in there and told me I couldn’t move for 35 minutes, I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t have enough Valium.

Span was able to take batting practice yesterday, but he’s absent from Minnesota’s lineup this afternoon and the Twins still haven’t made a roster move.

It’s been an especially tough week (and/or year) for the Twins’ medical staff.

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.