The Los Angeles Dodgers reinstated catcher Russell Martin from the 10-day injured list and optioned Rocky Gale to Triple-A Oklahoma City ahead of Saturday’s matchup with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Martin missed the last couple of weeks with lower back inflammation, but was able to talk his way out of a rehab assignment before being activated. He instead went through a simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Friday afternoon where it was determined that he was healthy enough to return.
The 36-year-old got off to a strong start to the season before going down with the injury. In six games, Martin hit .333/.500/.600 with a home run, a double, seven runs scored and two RBI. He also walked five times.
Gale was a serviceable replacement at the backup catcher position while Martin was out. He appeared in four games with the Dodgers, going 2-for-14 (.143 batting average) with a run scored. The hits were his first at the Major League level since 2017 and doubled his career total.
With Austin Barnes struggling a bit since Martin has been out, the Dodgers will gladly welcome back his offensive production and plate discipline. If Martin continues to swing the bat as well as he did before getting hurt then he could begin seeing more playing time, and perhaps even eclipse Barnes as the team’s starter.
Back issues are something that Martin dealt with during Spring Training as well though, so he will likely be eased back into action to avoid further injury.