St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez examines the ball after giving up two runs on a double by Minnesota Twins' Robbie Grossman in the fifth inning during a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Minnesota Twins at Busch Stadium on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in St. Louis, Mo. Photo by Chris Lee, firstname.lastname@example.org
MINNEAPOLIS • Carlos Martinez’s recovery from a muscle strain near his right (pitching) shoulder has not gone speedily enough for him to be set to start as hoped this weekend against Philadelphia, Cardinals manager Matheny said.
The Cardinals had initially believed that Martinez’s injury, which he confessed to them after his loss to the Twins last week, would calm after a few days of rest. To start this weekend, however, the righthander would be nearing a bullpen session — and Matheny said that hasn’t come up on his schedule.
“He hasn’t been doing a lot of those things that look like it’s fast-tracking ready for (the weekend),” Matheny said. “He’d be throwing more than what he’s doing now. (It’s) tracking in the direction that we’re going to need somebody.”
John Gant would be that somebody.
The righthander, after absorbing more than three innings Sunday, was unavailable Tuesday night at Target Field. Matheny said he’ll have a better feel for Martinez’s precise schedule on Wednesday — and know then if Gant needs to be prepped to start.
Adam Wainwright joined Martinez on the disabled list officially Tuesday afternoon. It’s the third time the veteran righthander has gone on the DL this season, and this time it could be a lengthy stay.
Wainwright will have a series of tests with team doctors this week to determine the damage in his right elbow, any further harm he could do, and whether he can recover and pitch pain-free.
General manager Michael Girsch said the club is seeking a “best course of action.”
FOWLER SITS, STILL
In San Diego, the Cardinals used matchups against lefties to score Dexter Fowler two days away from the lineup and away from his sub-.150 average.
On Tuesday, conversation was enough. Against a righthanded starter, Harrison Bader started in right field and Fowler did not start for the third time in four games. Matheny said that he remains in daily conversation with several of his struggling hitters about where they feel they are with their swings and what they need to “get right.”
Matheny described how he, the two hitting coaches, and Fowler “go day to day.”
“Keep him in the conversation, let him know what I’m thinking, just a day here or a day there,” Matheny said. “What you thinking? Are you getting closer? Are you feeling anything that’s got you where you want to be?”
Asked if it’s matchup or work guiding the decision, Matheny replied, “Mostly work.”
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