A radio station in Tampa has launched a campaign to “Save Tampa Bay Baseball.” It’s a general petition/awareness campaign thing with vague ideas of alerting Bud Selig and anyone who matters that there are baseball fans in the Bay Area and dadgummit they don’t want to lose the Rays.
Which, OK, radio stations do that sort of thing. But here I thought the problem for the Rays was that they were locked into their Bay Area ballpark, not that they’re thinking of going. Makes me wonder why the campaign isn’t aimed at fans to actually, you know, go to more Rays games. Because the team is kinda stuck at the moment.
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.