Toronto Blue Jays starting catcher Russel Martin has been added to the disabled list (DL) with with nerve inflammation in his left shoulder.
Unfortunately, this adds yet another everyday player for the Jays on the disabled list. However, Martin should be back to 100% in 10 days, unlike Donaldson, Tulo, and everyone else currently on the DL. If you include the Kendrys Morales also being added potentially (hamstring), that means $70 million of payroll are on the disabled list… yikes!
“I’m having a hard time lifting my arm and catching certain pitches,” Martin told media. “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever had in my career.”
Fortunately, John Gibbons does not think it will be a big problem and doesn’t expect it to be a long-term absence.
“It’s like I physically have a hard time doing certain things that I’ve never had trouble doing before,” Martin said. “You’re rarely 100 per cent in this game, but I definitely felt like there were times where I was missing pitches that I’m used to putting in play.”
Russell Martin is one of the Jays most irreplaceable players on the 25-man roster, and one that we could not afford to lose longterm. Thankfully, the Jays happen to have some catching depth in AAA Buffalo. While they are not superstars, they will do until Martin comes back and the Jays get a backup catcher (more on that another time). They have called up Luke Maile and Mike Ohlman, whom have already debuted as Jays in the past few days. Ohlman only had one start, but Maile has been filling in for Martin everyday. He may not drive in a lot of offence, but he has been quite good over the past few games.
“It’s definitely the hardest position to play in the game,” says Dioner Navarro, a fellow catcher. “Look, no disrespect to anybody, but if you’re playing third base, you just have to think about third base. If you’re playing shortstop, you just have to think about shortstop. But as catchers, we have to think about third base, shortstop, second base, first base, the pitcher, everything. Really, no one on the field has to think and do as much as us. And there’s not many guys who do it all as well as Russ.”