Mark Teixeira expects to feel stiffness in his wrist for most of the season

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One of the big “ifs” for the Yankees is “if Mark Teixeira” can return as an effective hitter. Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal caught up with him and, while he has no pain in his wrist and the doctors say everything is healing correctly, he is still stiff and expects to be for some time:

Teixeira’s doctors have told him that it will take a year for the wrist to feel fully normal, and that the tightness will likely remain throughout. It should improve, however, with every therapy session he completes and every swing he takes.

“I’m expecting until June, and maybe even through this entire season, it’ll be a little tight,” Teixeira said.

This article drops the old “time will tell” chestnut, but that’s just a slightly more optimistic way to phrase “we have no freakin’ idea.” And it suggests that, while most players can get away without being effective in spring training because they’re “getting their work in” or whatever, watching Teixeira in Tampa this year is going to be a lot more important.

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.