Mitch Moreland will skip reconstructive surgery and try to return much sooner

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Yesterday the Rangers announced that first baseman/outfielder Mitch Moreland would miss three months following ankle surgery, but now those plans have changed.

T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Moreland will put off the reconstructive surgery and instead “have his os trigonum bone behind his ankle removed.” And apparently if things go well, he’d be able to return in 3-4 weeks instead of potentially missing the remainder of the season.

That would be some rare good news in a season full of injuries destroying the Rangers’ roster, although obviously Moreland is hardly out of the woods yet.

In other positive Rangers health news: Rougned Odor’s shoulder injury is not believed to be serious and the 20-year-old top prospect could be available to play as soon as tonight.

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.