Kirk Gibson is (still) sticking with Addison Reed as the Diamondbacks’ closer

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At this point I like to imagine that Diamondbacks beat reporter Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic has the same routine so ingrained into his life that even on off days he wakes up, cooks a nice, sensible breakfast, and asks no one in particular “is Addison Reed still the closer?”

Today he asked that question of Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson, which he’s done seemingly a dozen times before, and the answer was the same as always: Yes.

Reed remains in the ninth-inning role despite blowing his fifth save of the season yesterday, serving up his ninth home run in just 36.2 innings while his ERA ballooned to 4.42.

Reed has always been an extreme fly-ball pitcher, which made him a poor fit for Arizona’s ballpark when the Diamondbacks acquired him from the White Sox this offseason, and for all the talk of his top-notch raw stuff and his impressive-looking save totals the 25-year-old right-hander now has a 4.23 ERA in 170 innings as a big leaguer.

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.