Over the weekend Carlos Beltran was cleared to play the outfield for the first time since May, but now his season-long elbow problems have returned and the 37-year-old has been scratched from the Yankees’ lineup.
Beltran was slated to start tonight at designated hitter, but instead Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York reports that he’ll be examined further by doctors. He’s been playing through bone spurs in his elbow with little success, hitting a career-low .233 with 14 homers and a .707 OPS that’s his lowest since 2003.
That poor overall production includes a current 1-for-28 (.036) slump in his last eight games and Beltran apparently tweaked his elbow on a swing Tuesday. It’s long been assumed that Beltran will undergo offseason surgery to remove the bone chips and it’s possible the Yankees will decide to shut him down early.
Beltran is under contract for $15 million in both 2015 and 2016.
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.