Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News reports that third baseman Pablo Sandoval is back in the Giants’ starting lineup on Tuesday night against the Blue Jays after missing San Francisco’s three-game weekend series in St. Louis because of a foot strain.
Angel Pagan, on the other hand, remains sidelined by a right hamstring strain and will miss his eighth straight game. Gregor Blanco will start in center field in his place and Andres Torres will patrol left.
Sandoval, 26, is batting .288/.328/.434 with eight home runs and 37 RBI in 53 games this season. The Giants enter play Tuesday with a 30-27 record and a two-game deficit behind the division-leading Diamondbacks in the National League West.
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.