The Blue Jays trailed the Orioles 5-2 entering the bottom of the ninth inning in today’s series finale against the Orioles, but they were able to put together a rally against closer Jim Johnson. Following an RBI single by J.P. Arencibia and an RBI ground out by Mark DeRosa, Munenori Kawasaki hit a two-out, two-run, walk-off RBI double to center field to left-center.
Kawasaki has already made a name for himself as one of the more exuberant personalities in baseball, but took it even further with one of the best post-game interviews you’ll see.
The Jays’ shortstop has not hit much this year, carrying a .627 OPS into today’s game, but he has played strong defense in the absence of Jose Reyes.
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.