When Fernando Rodney locked down the WBC semifinal game on Monday night he credited his lucky plantain which, it was reported, came in on an airplane from the Dominican Republic hours before the game. DO NOT BELIEVE FERNANDO RODNEY’S LIES:
Also: Topkin reports that Rodney will not have plantains with him during the regular season. They’re “WBC Plantains,” Rodney says. So, there’s that.
Meanwhile, Jon Paul Morosi is busy typing a column about how major league baseball pales in comparison thanks to the lack of plantains. Colin Cowherd says that Rodney tries much harder with his fruit during the WBC than he does for the Rays.
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.