The Cardinals are hoping to get some answers soon on Rafael Furcal’s status for the start of 2013.
According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the veteran shortstop will undergo an MRI later this month to determine whether there has been any sort of healing in his injured right elbow.
Furcal suffered a partially torn elbow ligament in late August, pushing Pete Kozma into a starting role.
If there isn’t sufficient healing, one wonders if the Cardinals will step up their pursuit of the Indians’ Asdrubal Cabrera.
Furcal, 35, batted .264/.325/.346 with five home runs in 531 plate appearances this past season for the National League Wild Card winners. He had a decent first half but faded badly down the stretch.
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.