Carlos Martinez moved to 'no-throw' program for 2 weeks due to shoulder strength

It's a precautionary move, according to Manager Mike Shildt

February 19, 2019 - 9:28 am

JUPITER, Fla. (KMOX) updated at 1:45 p.m. —St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez will not be throwing for the next 2 weeks. 

Manager Mike Shildt announced the move Tuesday morning, saying it’s precautionary.

"His strength and his ability to make sure he can move forward, and looking at the longer view of our season, we are going to back him off for two weeks," Shildt said, describing Martinez's next two weeks as "no-throw" and instead, strength mode.

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The manager was quick to point out that the results of an MRI taken yesterday and it "couldn't have been any better." 

During the two weeks, Martinez will be on a "no-throw" program to rebuild the strength in his shoulder. Shildt says its nothing that could have changed with off-season plans and that he's “ very optimistic and excited” about Martinez going forward.

Shildt also stated the the MRI performed on Martinez's shoulder Monday showed no structural difference in his shoulder since 2016.

"Here's the thing that blows my mind, his baseline for his strength and what it looks like for his shoulder stability, from 2016 imaging to now, has not changed, which is amazing to me," Shildt says. "The structure of his shoulder is in amazingly good shape. We just have to make sure we have some of the little muscles that are continuing to be strengthened to allow the workload and the capacity so we don't have an interruption like we did last year."

Martinez spoke with media Tuesday afternoon, reiterating what Shildt said earlier in the day – it's just a precaution.

"I want to be ready to throw 200 innings. And I know I can do it again," Martinez says. "That’s the plan. That’s why we made the decision to stop throwing."

Martinez will be reevaluated in two weeks, around March 5th.

Shildt says that while the plan changes the "timing" of where Martinez will be, it isn't clear how it could impact his role. The Cardinals have not yet made their decision public on if Martinez will be used as a starter or come out of the bullpen in 2019. The manager pointed out that they have said "everything is on the table from Day 1" for Martinez this spring and beyond.

"It's taking the long-view of what it looks like to keep him being able to be productive throughout a long season. And, based on what that looks like, workload will be determined."​

In more starting pitcher-related news, Shildt annouced Jack Flaherty and Miles Mikolas will pitch in Saturday's game to start Grapefruit League play. Then Michael Wacha and Daniel Ponce de Leon will pitch in Sunday's game.

KMOX will update this story with more information