John Blake, Rangers Vice President of Communications, announced on Twitter that the team has released outfielder Ryan Ludwick from his minor league contract. Ludwick was informed on Thursday that he would not make the Rangers’ Opening Day roster.
The Rangers signed Ludwick to a minor league deal in early February. Ludwick would have earned $1.75 million if he had made the roster. He hit just .200 in 30 Cactus League at-bats for the Rangers, registering only one home run and three RBI with a 9/0 K/BB ratio. Ludwick, 36, posted below-average numbers in each of the last two seasons with the Reds.
Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said pitcher Carlos Martínez will work out of the bullpen when he returns from the injured list, The Athletic’s Mark Saxon reports. Shildt noted that the decision is based on Martínez’s needs rather than the team’s needs, which suggests he may not yet have the strength to pitch as a starter.
Martínez, 27, opened the season on the injured list due to a right rotator cuff strain. The right-hander was also injured last year, battling lat and oblique injuries. He will go to extended spring training and likely begin a minor league rehab assignment next week. Based on that time frame, Martínez should be activated around mid-May.
Last year, Martínez made 18 starts and 15 relief appearances, posting a 3.11 ERA with five saves and a 117/60 K/BB ratio across 118 2/3 innings. It is unclear what role(s) Martínez will have in the bullpen, but he could eventually help set up for closer Jordan Hicks.