Thursday, August 05, 2010

Another Russell Martin Season Ends With Disappointment

Remember when Russell Martin was our breakout catcher of the future, the one who made us forget Paul LoDuca and who had us recalling memories of Mike Piazza? And then how his numbers started to degrade, falling to last year's BA of .250 and OPS+ of 86? And how an off-season regimen of weight training was going to keep him strong down the stretch?

One fateful decision not to slide later, and Martin looks like he's done for the season, this time two months early. And what's worse, this year's numbers (.248 BA, OPS+ 88) aren't ending up much better than last year's disaster of a season:

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers catcher Russell Martin will probably be lost for the rest of the regular season and might require surgery after being diagnosed Wednesday with a torn labrum in his right hip.

"The fact that he's going to be on crutches for a while, you know we're in it for the long haul," manager Joe Torre said. "It's far beyond the two-week disabled list at this point in time. Hopefully this thing over the next couple weeks will give him some relief and we'll go from there. But the most important thing is not necessarily getting him back but that he gets better. Really, we're not looking for him to come back and help us any time soon."

Martin was placed on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his career after the tear showed up in an MRI. He is expected to be on crutches for three weeks to avoid weight bearing on the hip joint and left the clubhouse immediately after Wednesday night's game on a Segway, a two-wheeled self-balancing transportation device.

"I'll talk to you guys after I get more tests tomorrow, when I'll know more," said Martin.

Hip labral tears are generally degenerative and require arthroscopic surgery to repair, with a three-month rehab. Dodgers trainer Stan Conte said that because Martin's injury was traumatic and not degenerative, more tests are needed to determine if he will need surgery.

A CT scan is scheduled for Thursday and the test results will be sent to three hip specialists for opinions about a course of treatment. [...]

The Dodgers stressed that no decision has been made on surgery for Martin.

"His tear is in the back [of the hip joint]," said Conte. "Most surgeries are when the tear is in the front and the top. We hope it's non-surgical right now."

Even if Martin avoids surgery, the rehab should require roughly the two months that remain in the regular season.

Martin suffered the injury in the second inning Tuesday night, trying to tag up from third and score on a flyout by Jamey Carroll. Martin came in standing up, lost his balance after being tagged out by Padres catcher Nick Hundley and made an awkward landing on his right foot, apparently jamming the top of his leg into the cartilage-like material that insulates the inside of the hip joint.

It's a pity to see Martin go, even if he wasn't the recovered offensive force that we had hoped to see him become this year. That leaves us with a pretty deep hole at catcher, with 95-year-old Brad Ausmus as the starter and light-hitting A.J. Ellis as the backup...with no one left in the system behind Ellis since we traded Lucas May away (who was batting .296 at AAA Albuquerque when we traded him for...light-hitting Scott Podsednik). Don't get me started on Carlos Santana's trade.


Well, get well soon, Russell.


Kyle Baker said...

Did Chad Moriyama ghost-write this post?

Kyle Baker said...

BTW, from the credit where credit is due department:

Ben Sheets done and done thise season. He's been next to useless for a lot of coin. Ned took a pass on him, mercifully, so big slap on the back to Ned for being able to rightly judge potential, or lack thereof.

One could possibly same something similar re Randy Wolf.

Josh S. said...

1. Russell Martin on a Segway has the potential to become the next SoSG meme.

2. This quote from Torre...

Really, we're not looking for him to come back and help us any time soon.

...probably has an implied period after "back."