Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez has been a highly capable starter for most of tenure with the club, which dates back to 2013. But the Cardinals moved the then-injured Martinez to their bullpen in late April, and that’s where he’s going to stay for the time being, per manager Mike Shildt (via Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Shildt suggested the Cardinals don’t have time to build up Martinez, who opened the season on the injured list with shoulder problems. “To put him back in that cycle again doesn’t make a lot of sense when he’s in a spot where he’s had success and he’s recovering,” Shildt said of Martinez, who has totaled 12 appearances and 13 1/3 innings with a 3.38 ERA/3.47 FIP, 8.1 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 58.3 percent groundball rate since he made his season debut May 18. Even though Martinez has posted good numbers as a reliever, the Cardinals’ rotation has missed the 27-year-old. Their starting staff has been mediocre or worse this season.
Here’s more from around the majors…
- The Rangers were planning on giving left-hander Joe Palumbo a chance to audition for a role in their thin rotation, but that may not be the case anymore, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes. The 22-year-old Palumbo has started twice, including in Wednesday’s 10-4 drubbing at the hands of the Indians. The Tribe lit up Palumbo for seven earned runs on six hits (two home runs) in two innings. Reliever Jesse Chavez came in after Palumbo and tossed five innings of one-run ball. Although Chavez, 35, hasn’t started extensively since 2017, the Rangers are so hard up for stability in the back of their rotation that they’ll “consider” shifting him there, manager Chris Woodward said.
- Orioles righty Dan Straily’s place on the team’s roster may be in jeopardy, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com suggests. The low-risk flier the club took on Straily on April 5, a little over a week after the Marlins released him, hasn’t worked out to this point. Straily, 30, was coming off a multiyear run as a useful starter when he joined Baltimore, yet he has worked to a hideous 9.82 ERA/9.30 FIP in 47 2/3 innings since then. While Straily began 2019 as a starter, his struggles convinced the O’s to demote him to their bullpen nearly a month ago. Straily has fared even worse in that role.
- Injured Tigers shortstop Jordy Mercer is nearing a rehab assignment and could return to the majors by the first week of July, according to manager Ron Gardenhire (via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News). Mercer, out since April 14 with a right quad strain, already began a rehab stint once. However, he suffered a setback three weeks ago and hasn’t returned to game action yet. When the rebuilding Tigers signed the soon-to-be 33-year-old Mercer to a $5.25MM guarantee in the offseason, they were likely hoping he’d perform well enough to emerge as a summer trade chip. Instead, the former Pirate got off to a brutal start – .206/.275/.317 (55 wRC+) in 69 plate appearances – and hasn’t played since.