CSN’s Paul Gutierrez is reporting that the Athletics have acquired relief pitcher Fernando Nieve from the Indians for cash considerations. Nieve turned 31 years old on July 15 and has spent the entirety of the season with Triple-A Columbus, posting a 1.81 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 12 walks in 44 and two-thirds innings of work.
Nieve last pitched in the Majors in 2010 with the Mets. In the time since, he has spent time in Triple-A with the Astros, Dodgers, and Indians. He will join the Athletics’ Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento.
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.