ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals believe they dodged a season-ending injury with Carlos Martinez, whom they hope will miss only two or three starts while on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain.The organization is characterizing Martinez's right shoulder strain as mild, and found no evidence of any structural
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals believe they dodged a season-ending injury with Carlos Martinez, whom they hope will miss only two or three starts while on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain.
The organization is characterizing Martinez's right shoulder strain as mild, and found no evidence of any structural damage in the MRI that Martinez underwent after exiting Monday's start in the fifth inning.
Still, this represents yet another interruption to Martinez's season. After cruising to a 1.62 ERA through his first eight starts, Martinez went on the DL in mid-May with a right lat strain. That injury sidelined him for a month. Martinez then missed a start last week while nursing a right oblique strain.
The Cardinals will evaluate how the three injuries might be related and whether they are an indicator of a larger underlying issue. A significant velocity drop during his final inning Monday was a red flag that, once again, something was amiss.
"I think what we'll use the next couple weeks for is to get him in a position where hopefully we can decrease those odds of those kinds of injuries," said president of baseball operations John Mozeliak.
The Cardinals are expected to pluck either Austin Gomber or Daniel Poncedeleon from the bullpen to plug Martinez's rotation spot for the foreseeable future. Poncedeleon replaced Martinez on Monday and threw 2 1/3 innings. If the Cardinals turn to Gomber, it would give them a left-handed presence in an all-righty rotation.
Dakota Hudson is not being considered a candidate for the start, interim manager Mike Shildt said.
Martinez's move to the DL opened a roster spot for reliever Tyler Webb, who will join Chasen Shreve and Gomber as lefty options out of the 'pen.
While waiting to learn whether he'd remain with the Cardinals past Tuesday's 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline, Jose Martinez turned to one of his favorite meals -- a chicken and rice bowl -- to cure the anxiousness.
"I left my phone in the car, too," he added. "Whatever happens, I was going to enjoy my meal."
Not long after finishing, Martinez learned that the Cardinals had not dealt him away. Shildt later brought Martinez into his office for about 10 minutes on Tuesday afternoon to talk through the organization's decision to keep him and outline how the first baseman/outfielder will fit moving forward.
"I look at my locker right there, I'm still here," Martinez said. "So I'm just happy. This city and this organization have treated me unbelievably and given me the opportunity to play in the big leagues. So I'm going to show up every day with a winning attitude and try to win some games."
• Though Kolten Wong (left knee irritation) is eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday, the Cardinals plan to wait until Thursday or Friday to activate the second baseman. Wong will not participate in a Minor League rehab assignment before his return.
• Dominic Leone will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Memphis on Wednesday. Leone has been sidelined by nerve irritation in his right arm since the first week of May.
• Adam Wainwright (right elbow inflammation) is still in the process of building arm strength, but he could be ready to head out on a rehab assignment as early as next week.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.