Mat Latos cleared to join Reds’ rotation on Saturday

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Mat Latos tossed 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball Monday for Triple-A Louisville, showing enough in that rehab start to convince Cincinnati’s decision-makers that he is finally ready for MLB action.

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the right-handed Latos — who has been out all year because of knee, calf, and elbow issues — has officially been cleared to join the Reds’ starting rotation this Saturday night against the Brewers.

Latos posted a solid 3.16 ERA (121 ERA+) and 187 strikeouts in 210 2/3 innings last season. The 26-year-old is capable of providing a nice boost for the Reds, who open play on Tuesday night with a disappointing 29-33 record and -20 run differential.

Carlos Martínez to work out of Cardinals’ bullpen for rest of season

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When Cardinals starter Carlos Martínez returns from the disabled list, likely some time next week, he will pitch out of the bullpen, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Martínez has been on the disabled list since late July with a strained right shoulder. The plan is still for Martínez to start in 2019 and beyond.

GM John Mozeliak said, “If you’re going to go down that starting path and you’re starting at ground zero, the likelihood of him being back would be sometime in mid-September. And we’ve done that twice this year and ended up in the same place after a few starts.”

Martínez, 26, has a 3.41 ERA and a 98/49 K/BB ratio in 100 1/3 innings across 18 starts this season. The Cardinals’ rotation currently features Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty, John Gant, Luke Weaver, and Austin Gomber.

The Cardinals entered play Monday 2.5 games out of the second Wild Card slot in the National League, so adding Martínez to the bullpen — or, subtracting him from the rotation, depending on how you look at it — could make a significant impact on the club’s playoff chances.