St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez is expected to begin the season on the injured list as he continues to recover from shoulder weakness. Martinez will not appear in any exhibition games and will only throw on flat ground for at least one more week.
"Much better, thanks to God," Martinez said through a translator Wednesday, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It's really at peace, really improved. I just thank God for helping me to heal really fast. Right now I just hope the shoulder is strong enough to pitch. Go from there." A two-time All-Star and the team's 2018 Opening Day starter, Martinez received a platelet-rich plasma injection two weeks ago. Manager Mike Shildt said the treatment had improved his condition.
"He's in a good spot," Shildt said. "He's taken advantage of the time he's had off, to strengthen. And now he will get back to playing catch. And then we will reevaluate what that looks like next week, a week from today." Martinez, 27, was 8-6 with a 3.11 ERA in 33 games last season. He made 18 starts and also recorded five saves, but missed multiple stints due to injuries.
Martinez did not pitch from May 8-June 5 (strained right latissimus), July 19-30 (strained right oblique) and July 30-Aug. 21 (strained right shoulder). In six seasons with St. Louis, Martinez is 54-38 with a 3.37 ERA and 800 strikeouts in 816 1/3 innings. He was a National League All-Star in 2015 and 2017.
--Field Level Media