Carlos Martinez removed from the program to throw because of a weakness in the shoulder | Derrick Goold: Bird Land




JUPITER, Fla. • Some of the same concerns that have plagued Carlos Martinez over the past season and let the right-handed pitcher "fear" to launch at full strength have resurfaced and ended his spring training.

Martinez has been removed from the team's throwing program and will spend two weeks focusing on strengthening his right shoulder and participating in other baseball drills, director Mike Shildt said Tuesday morning. The right-hander had an MRI on Monday that revealed no further structural damage – Shildt said the shoulder had the same look as that of 2016, a season of 16 wins – but there are areas of weakness around the shoulder that keep Martinez from recovering after throwing.

The decision to remove him from the team's launch plan leaves a doubt about his preparation for the opening day.

"He was very honest," said Shildt. "Very open, very honest about her throws and feelings."

"I just want to be smart during the spring training," said Martinez, with the help of the official translator of the team. "I want to have some strength in this shoulder, I feel a bit of weakness and inflammation at the same time.That's why I stopped throwing.I wanted to be a little clever at that. subject and be 100% before relaunching the ball. "

At the beginning of the spring training, the Cardinals prepared Martinez to become a starter, even if they were open to the possibility that he would be a reliever and that he would even be used as their loved one. If he is able to start a program to launch soon after March 5th, it would leave him a small window to give himself enough arms to be able to perform the rotation on the day of opening. He would be available sooner as a reliever.

Martinez's schedule change takes place the same day Alex Reyes was put on time. Initially ready to start another session on Tuesday, the rookie right-hander will face the batters with the other starters in a real batting practice scenario.

Throughout the 2018 season, Martinez has experienced difficulties and pain in and around his shoulder. He saw significant decreases in his speed from time to time and admitted that he had hesitated a few times – fearing that a coup made him break his shoulder. The Cardinals have endowed Martinez with an offseason program designed to build their abilities and be ready for spring training to address weaknesses in the shoulder and around the US. shoulder.

Shildt said the program had not achieved its goals, which forced the team to rewrite Martinez's spring training.

"No matter how much work he has done, he was not really up to what we would have liked, nor would he have liked it to be," Shildt said. . "His strength and ability to go forward – looking at the longer vision of our season – we will hold him for two weeks, he will not be thrown and he will be in force mode. some of the small muscles continue to be strengthened to allow the workload and capacity so that we do not have a break like we did last year, so we are ahead of us. "

Martinez, 27, was 8-6 with an average of 3.11 this season with 33 appearances and 18 starts. Several trips in the list of disabled people have limited it to 118 2/3. This season was a stark contrast to a decisive year that saw him reach 200 heats for the first time in his career, appear in a second all-star game and play a 12-11 record with a 3.64 ERA. in 2017.

The Cardinals have a handful of alternatives to occupy Martinez's reserved place in the rotation. John Gant has been a starter for the Cardinals and is short of options this spring, which limits the team 's ability to send in AAA class. Austin Gomber was undefeated last August and he would add a southpaw to the group. Dakota Hudson was developed as a starter this spring with an eye on being in the major league battlefield, unless it's needed as a starter. And Reyes' role remains open to conversation based on his health and strength during spring training.

Martinez's reinforcement program began on Tuesday based on the results of the MRI taken on Monday.

"Is it a little precaution, yes," said Shildt. "Is it necessary? Yes, too."

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