Placido Polanco has been sidelined since Saturday with lower back soreness and was supposed to rejoin the Marlins’ lineup today, but he was a late scratch after taking batting practice.
“I don’t think it’s going to be an extended thing,” manager Mike Redmond said, via Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. “We just want got make sure he’s 100 percent before we run him back out there. We need him for the long haul.
Here’s the thing, though: At this point it’s safe to wonder if Polanco is simply too beat up physically to ever really be “100 percent.”
He had knee, finger, and back problems last season and toe, hip, elbow, and finger problems in 2011, including a hernia. He’s missed 30, 40, and 72 games in the past three seasons and is now 37 years old. Polanco picked the right spot to reestablish himself as an everyday player, because it’s not like the Marlins have many other options, but his body may not allow it.
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.