Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Thursday he expects Canadian catcher Russell Martin to miss the rest of the season because of a hip injury.
Martin was injured Tuesday night trying to score against the San Diego Padres and was placed on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in five big-league seasons. The East York, Ont., native has a labrum tear in his right hip.
"It's pretty safe to say he won't be back," Torre said. "He'll be on crutches for three weeks, and it looks like it's going to be the rest of the year."
The two-time all-star, hitting .248 in 97 games this season with five homers and 26 runs batted in, tried to score after tagging up on a fly ball to centre field after doubling home the Dodgers' only runs in Tuesday's 2-1 win. But he couldn't beat the one-hop throw from Chris Denorfia and was tagged out by Nick Hundley after coming in standing up.
'I'm more concerned with having him be able to get back to full health than and be able to do this again — Dodgers manager Joe Torre on Martin
Despite the injury, Martin caught five more innings before coming out of the game.
"I guess these next three weeks, they'll probably take more pictures and all that stuff and they'll have a little better view of it after he tries to keep the weight off it," Torre said. "Right now I'm more concerned with having him be able to get back to full health than and be able to do this again."
In the meantime, rookie A.J. Ellis will handle the catching duties along with 41-year-old Brad Ausmus, a three-time Gold Glove winner who caught Vicente Padilla's two-hit shutout on Wednesday night.
It was Ausmus's second start behind the plate after missing 90 games with a back injury. Ausmus, eighth in the career list for games caught, returned to the active roster on July 20 following his first trip to the DL in 18 big league seasons.
"We hope that we can overcome it and play well," Torre said of Martin's absence. "We have two good catchers that maybe don't give us the offence that Russell does, but they certainly can handle the defensive part of it.
"I'm probably going to go back and forth with them for a bit and just get a feel for it. But I'm certainly not going to throw Ausmus into the fire, after having been away so long with the back issues."