Jason Giambi began the season on the disabled list with a broken rib, but the 43-year-old designated hitter is back on the Indians’ active roster now.
Giambi got a lot of credit for being a positive influence in Cleveland’s clubhouse last season and previously he’s been talked about as someone who could immediately go into coaching, but it’s unclear if he’s still a decent enough hitter to actually add value to a 25-man roster.
He can still draw walks and smack the occasional homer, but last season Giambi hit .183 in 71 games for his second straight year with a sub-.700 OPS.
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.