Martinez gets injection, likely not in Cards’ 1st rotation

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              St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez (18) warms up with his teammates during spring training baseball practice Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez had an injection to stimulate healing in his weak pitching shoulder, and likely will not be in the starting rotation at the beginning of the season.

St. Louis said Tuesday that Martinez won’t throw for two weeks after he received a platelet rich plasma injection on Monday at the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze.

“We’ll evaluate his role at that point,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said.

Martinez threw two bullpen sessions at the start of spring training but has missed the past week.

A 27-year-old right-hander, Martinez was the Cardinals’ opening-day starter last year but did not pitch for St. Louis from May 8 until June 5 last year because of a strained right lat muscle, then was out between July 19 and 30 because of a strained right oblique and between July 30 and Aug. 21 because of a strained right shoulder.

When he returned, he pitched out of the bullpen and had five saves.

Martinez, whose arm was in a sling Tuesday, was projected to be part of this year’s rotation. He finished 8-6 with a 3.11 ERA in 18 starts and 15 relief appearances.

Notes: Top prospect Alex Reyes is also progressing toward his exhibition debut. Reyes, 24, missed 2017 following Tommy John surgery and pitched only four innings last season because of a lat strain. He impressed in Monday’s bullpen session.

“I wouldn’t say next appearance, but I wouldn’t rule it out,” Shildt said.