The Los Angeles Dodgers were linked to prominent catchers Yan Gomes and J.T. Realmuto during various stages of the past offseason but addressed their catching need by reuniting with Russell Martin in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Martin was coming off a down and injury-plagued season, but he and the Dodgers expressed confidence 2019 would bring about a different story. Heading into the season, manager Dave Roberts outlined a plan for Austin Barnes to receive the bulk of starts.
That tilted further in his favor last week when Martin was placed on the 10-day injured list due to lower back inflammation. Roberts relayed that Martin has typically needed a week’s time to recover from such an injury.
Sunday puts the veteran catcher just past the midway point of that timeline, and while Martin’s condition is improving, he remains limited.
“Russ is moving around much better. I don’t see him picking up a bat or throwing a baseball here in the next couple days, so his timetable is a little cloudy right now,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s more of a day-to-day, when the training staff feels he can do baseball-specific activities, we’ll kind of know more.”
The 36-year-old appeared in just six games (five starts) prior to being sidelined. He memorably pitched in the ninth inning of a blowout victory, making MLB history in the process.
Although Martin’s time on the field has been limited thus far, Roberts recently raved about his impact in the clubhouse and assisting in the handling of the pitching staff.