This morning I wrote about how the Rangers had to be considering removing Tanner Scheppers from the rotation given his awful performance through four starts and now they’ve placed him on the disabled list with elbow inflammation. According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com an MRI exam revealed no structural damage, but he’ll be shut down for at least 10 days.
Scheppers’ velocity has been down 2.5 miles per hour compared to last season, but that’s likely due mostly to shifting from the bullpen to the rotation and his average fastball of 93.8 miles per hour is still pretty damn fast.
However, after throwing 77 innings with a 1.88 ERA as a full-time reliever last season Scheppers coughed up 20 runs in 18 innings as a starter this year, which is not what the Rangers had in mind after naming him their Opening Day starter despite zero big-league starts under his belt.
Left-hander Matt Harrison is fairly close to coming off the disabled list to make his season debut, but if the Rangers need a fill-in starter for 1-2 more turns in the rotation Double-A right-hander Nick Martinez could get the nod.
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.