The Rockies have “heavy interest” in Justin Morneau

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Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies have “heavy interest” in free agent first baseman Justin Morneau. I’m going to assume he said “heavy” like a caricature of some hippie. Maybe the record producer guy from the “Johnny Bravo” episode of the Brady Bunch. Loved that guy.

Anyway: Morneau might do well in a hitter friendly park like Coors Field. And he’s likely not going to cost as much or demand as long a deal as some of the other power bats on the market. Maybe his best days are behind him, but there’s a potential for a bounce back. Right?

Heavy.

Cardinals shut down Carlos Martínez for two weeks due to shoulder issue

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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.