Cards pitcher Martinez shut down 2 weeks, builds up shoulder

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez has been shut down for two weeks to build up shoulder strength after an injury-plagued season.

Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said Tuesday that Martinez won’t throw before being reevaluated on March 5. Shildt said an MRI this week showed Martinez’s right shoulder was structurally sound.

It was uncertain how this setback would affect Martinez’s status for opening day March 28 at NL Central champion Milwaukee.

A two-time All-Star, the 27-year-old righty was 8-6 with five saves and a 3.11 ERA in 33 games last year, 18 of them starts. The Cardinals had not said for certain how Martinez would be used this season.

Martinez was on the disabled list three times last year with shoulder, lat and oblique strains. He said his shoulder had been bothering him a bit in camp, with some weakness and inflammation.