UPDATE: Change of plans. Yonder Alonso’s hand injury hasn’t gotten any better, so the Padres announced that they’re placing him on the DL to make room for Maybin and Blanks will stick around.
San Diego center fielder Cameron Maybin is off the disabled list after missing nearly two months with a wrist injury and to make room on the roster the Padres demoted Kyle Blanks to Triple-A.
Based strictly on performance it’s tough to argue that Blanks deserves the trip back to the minors, as his .796 OPS in 36 games ranks second on the entire Padres team behind only Carlos Quentin at .816. However, with Quentin and Maybin starting every day in the outfield the Padres would apparently rather use Chris Denorfia as the right-handed-hitting platoon partner for Will Venable.
Blanks is hurt by having a minor-league option remaining, but it’s hard to imagine the Padres not calling him back up relatively soon. As for Maybin, he was very productive on a nine-game rehab assignment, but was struggling before being placed on the DL and has hit just .233 with a .633 OPS in 157 games since the beginning of last season.
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.