Matt Kemp targets Tuesday return after cortisone injections

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Today’s scheduled off day for the Dodgers comes at a good time for Matt Kemp, who sat out both weekend games after being diagnosed with fraying in his shoulder labrum and got two cortisone injections.

Kemp told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that he’s hoping to be back in the Dodgers’ lineup tomorrow night for the beginning of a two-game series against the Diamondbacks, but it’s worth noting that he didn’t fell strong enough to take batting practice yesterday and was instead limited to playing catch.

Kemp injured his shoulder slamming into the outfield wall on August 28 and has gone just 3-for-30 (.100) with nine strikeouts since, although he did homer versus the Diamondbacks on September 2.

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.