The National League All-Star outfield is looking pretty strong at the moment. The three guys on pace to start per the latest vote happen to be the three best-hitting outfielders in the league at the moment. Put Carlos Gomez on the team too — he’s fourth in balloting — and it’s looking like one of the more solid outfields you’ll ever see.
Beyond them? Goldschmidt, Utley, Wright, Tulowitzki and Molina lead their respective positions. While one may quibble with any of those choices on the merits of their half-season stats — Jonthan Lucroy and Todd Frazier fans are weeping at the moment — there is no question that NL voters know who the stars in the senior circuit truly are.
The results as of today:
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.