Boston’s trade deadline moves left Mookie Betts without a regular spot in the lineup, so the Red Sox have decided to send the 21-year-old top prospect back to Triple-A.
In two stints in the big leagues Betts has logged 44 total plate appearances, hitting .244 with one homer and a .645 OPS in 13 games. In the minors this year he’s hit .342 with more walks (55) than strikeouts (43) and a .959 OPS in 88 games between Double-A and Triple-A, so he remains a huge part of the Red Sox’s long-term plans even if they’re not quite sure where yet.
To replace Betts on the roster the Red Sox activated Kelly Johnson, whom they acquired from the Yankees in exchange for Stephen Drew despite Johnson being on the disabled list with a groin injury. He can fill in all over the diamond and, unlike with Betts, the Red Sox won’t mind giving the 32-year-old Johnson sporadic playing time.
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.