Cardinals skipping Carlos Martinez’s next start due to back issue

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cardinals will skip right-hander Carlos Martinez on Tuesday against the Nationals and call up left-hander Marco Gonzales to start instead.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Martinez is dealing with a back issue which isn’t believed to be serious. The 23-year-old has already thrown a career-high 154 2/3 innings this season while posting a 2.91 ERA, but the results have been mixed over the past month. The Cardinals have their eyes on the postseason, so it makes sense to rest him now. Surely the Nationals won’t complain.

Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first-round pick from 2013, has thrown just 75 1/3 innings in the minors this season due to pectoral and shoulder injuries. The numbers on the whole haven’t been pretty for the southpaw, but he has a 2.66 ERA over his last four starts in Triple-A and will try to keep that going against major league hitters. The 23-year-old had a 4.15 ERA in five starts and five relief appearances in his first taste of the majors last year.

Kinsler back with Rangers as special assistant to GM Young

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Former Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler returned to the team as a special assistant to general manager Chris Young, his teammate in the organization’s minor league system nearly two decades ago.

Young said that Kinsler, who was part of the franchise’s only two World Series teams in 2010 and 2011, will be heavily involved in player development and providing mentorship to both players and staff.

Kinsler, a four-time All-Star, was part of a World Series championship with the Boston Red Sox in 2018, a year before his retirement. Kinsler played 14 seasons in the major leagues and spent the last three years in the front office of the San Diego Padres as a special assistant in baseball operations and player development. The 40-year-old has been living in the Dallas area, as he did throughout his playing career.

Kinsler played for the U.S. in the 2017 World Baseball Classic and Israel in last summer’s Olympics, and he will manage Israel in next month’s WBC.

Young and Kinsler were teammates for several weeks at Double-A Frisco in the summer of 2004, the same year the pitcher made his big league debut. They were in big league spring training together in 2005, then Young was traded after that season.

A 17th-round draft pick by Texas in 2003, Kinsler played 1,066 games for the Rangers from 2006-13, hitting .273 with 156 homers, 539 RBIs and 172 stolen bases. He hit .311 with a .422 on-base percentage in 34 postseason games. He was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame last summer.

Kinsler hit .269 with 257 homers, 909 RBIs and 243 stolen bases in 1,888 career games overall with Texas, Detroit (2014-17), the Los Angeles Angels (2018), Boston (2018), and San Diego (2019). He is one of only two MLB second baseman with 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in multiple seasons, and had the only six-hit cycle in a nine-inning game since 1900 on April 15, 2009.