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Martinez undergoes 'small' shoulder procedure

Nathan Grimm

Like players on 27 other teams, Carlos Martinez is hoping to "move forward" after the end of his 2019 season.

Martinez and the Cardinals were swept in the National League Championship Series at the hands of the Nationals, and last week he underwent a "small procedure" to address discomfort in his right shoulder, according to Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak. Mozeliak said the pitcher received a platelet-rich plasma injection as part of the procedure.

"He should have a pretty normal offseason," Mozeliak said.

 

 

Martinez came up as a starter with the Cardinals but was used in relief all season after continued issues with the shoulder cost him time during the 2018 season. In 48 regular season appearances this year, the 28-year-old posted a 3.17 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 53/18 K/BB ratio. He was also thrust into the closer role after Jordan Hicks underwent Tommy John surgery, saving 24 games over the course of the season.

He endured a brutal October, though, owning a 14.73 ERA and 2.73 WHIP over four appearances between the NLDS and NLCS. It's fair to wonder how much the shoulder issue played into his late struggles.

With a normal offseason, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold said both the Cardinals and Martinez expect the right-hander to compete for a starting spot again in spring. The Cardinals have potential openings, too, with veteran Adam Wainwright still unsigned and Michael Wacha set to hit free agency for the first time.

Pressly 'Not Really Concerned' About Knee Issue

Astros reliever Ryan Pressly, meanwhile, is not yet ready to move forward from this year.

Pressly exited Saturday's decisive American League Championship Series Game 6 victory over the Yankees after experiencing discomfort in his right knee, but the right-hander said he's "not really concerned anymore" regarding the issue as it relates to his availability to pitch in the World Series.

“I went to go grab the ground ball and when I pushed off to go grab it, I felt a pop in my knee," Pressly said. "I went and got it checked out and it’s just some scar tissue we think just broke off. It was more scary than anything.”

The issue was of particular concern because Pressly missed a month in the second half after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on the knee. He said doctors checked on the knee after Saturday's incident and that "everything checked out good."

The 30-year-old first-time All-Star, acquired from the Twins at the 2018 trade deadline, was a vital part of the Astros bullpen that propelled the team to an American League West title and, now, a World Series berth. Pressly put up a 2.32 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 72/12 K/BB ratio over 54 1/3 innings of work during the regular season but has struggled in six appearances this month, posting a 13.50 ERA and 3.75 WHIP.

Bumps in the road notwithstanding, Pressly is an important member of the 'pen and would surely be missed if he wasn't available for the World Series roster. We'll know soon enough whether he dodged a bullet.

Cubs', Mets' Manager Searches Move Forward

A couple organizations in search of a new manager are set to take steps in the process this week.

The Cubs, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, have their sights set on former catcher David Ross and Astros bench coach Joe Espada. Heyman said the pair "appear to be the frontrunners" for the job previously held by new Angels manager Joe Maddon.

Ross has been a fan- and organizational favorite since his playing days. He's worked in an analyst role for ESPN and as a special assistant with the Cubs following his retirement in 2016. Espada is a popular name this fall, as he's also been mentioned with regards to the Giants' and Pirates' openings as well.

The Mets, meanwhile, have narrowed their list to at least four candidates, with The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reporting former Yankees manager Joe Girardi, ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez, former Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran and Nationals first base coach Tim Bogar are set to be brought back for a second round of interviews this week. SNY's Andy Martino tweeted his belief that the team would like to have a decision made by the end of the month.

Quick Hits: The Mariners have shut down Julio Rodriguez from the final week of the Arizona Fall League due to a minor lower back strain. Rodriguez was the youngest player in the AFL and sported a nice .288/.397/.365 batting line with four doubles. This is after the 18-year-old hit .326/.390/.540 with 12 homers between Low- and High-A during the regular season. Rodriguez is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 25 prospect in the game ... Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reports that the Red Sox have spoken to Bryan Price about their pitching coach opening. Price took the year off in 2019 after he was fired as Reds manager early on in the 2018 season. He's been a pitching coach with the Mariners, Diamondbacks and Reds.