Russell Martin avoids hip surgery
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Russell Martin probably won't need surgery to repair the labral tear in his right hip, according to the initial review by team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the results of a CT scan Martin underwent earlier this week.
"The alignment of the hip is exactly where it was [at the time of the injury], which is exactly what we wanted," said Stan Conte, the Dodgers' director of medical services. "After the first four weeks, that is what you're looking for, and it went great, but four weeks is too soon to see any fracture healing.
"He'll be on crutches for two more weeks."
Martin's season is over, and while he is expected to be fully healed well before the start of spring training, his future with the club is somewhat muddled. Martin is entering his third winter of arbitration eligibility and is already making $5.05 million in a season in which his offensive numbers continued to plummet for the third consecutive year.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers' recent acquisition of veteran catcher Rod Barajas could make Martin expendable. Barajas entered Friday hitting .348 in seven games with the Dodgers, during which he had hit three home runs in 23 at-bats. Martin hit five home runs in 331 at-bats over 97 games before being sidelined for the rest of the season.
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Barajas is seven years older than Martin and considerably cheaper -- he is making $500,000 this season -- but he will turn 35 on Sunday and probably couldn't catch five or six days a week over the course of a full season next year.
As expected, the Dodgers recalled catcher A.J. Ellis from Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday, their first move as part of the annual September roster expansion. However, any additional moves probably won't happen until the Isotopes' season is over.
Although the Pacific Coast League schedule ends Monday, Albuquerque entered Friday night's game at Round Rock two games behind first place with four to play.
"Evidently, that is what we're doing," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "The catcher was very important for us. We'll just have to wait, however it goes, until they're out of it."
In addition to recalling Ellis, the Dodgers did activate right-hander Vicente Padilla from the 15-day disabled list even though he isn't scheduled to pitch until Monday night at San Diego. That gives the Dodgers an additional arm in the bullpen in the event of an emergency, such as a marathon extra-inning game.
Worth a thousand
Jon SooHoo celebrated his 25th anniversary as the Dodgers' official photographer on Friday by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. The club planned to show an in-game video tribute to SooHoo's career during the game, and he also was to receive gifts from the Dodgers and the city of Los Angeles.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.
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