Martin not back in bigs yet

Updated: March 28, 2010, 9:17 PM ET
By Tony Jackson | ESPNLosAngeles.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Russell Martin's strained right groin appears to be progressing well. But he didn't play in his first Cactus League game on Sunday after all. Instead, he was slated to play in a minor league game against Cleveland in Goodyear.

"He certainly isn't happy about it,'' Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.

After saying in the morning that Martin would play in his first Cactus League game since the injury no later than Thursday, Torre said after Sunday's game that Martin will play on Tuesday against Colorado.

Torre missed much of Sunday's 2-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds while watching Martin play in the minor league game against Cleveland on the back side. The Indians share a complex with the Reds.

Torre said Martin will play in another minor league game on Monday at Camelback Ranch, the same game in which right-hander Hiroki Kuroda is slated to take his regular turn. Chad Billingsley will pitch in the regular Cactus League game against the Indians.

Torre held out on Martin returning because of the lingering possibility he could aggravate the injury. If Martin has to begin the season on the 15-day disabled list, that move can be backdated only to the day after his most recent big league spring training game.

The Dodgers play three exhibitions in Southern California next week. After hosting the Indians, they will play a two-game series with the Angels, at Angel Stadium on Friday night and Dodger Stadium on Saturday.

"If he is still feeling all right, my guess is he will play in those games,'' Torre said.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Tony Jackson

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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