Martin stays in Toronto lineup despite sore leg

Martin stays in Toronto lineup despite sore leg

ANAHEIM -- The Blue Jays plan on giving catcher Russell Martin regular playing time despite a left leg injury that has left him hobbled on the basepaths in recent weeks.

Martin has been dealing with a sore left hamstring since the beginning of August but has yet to require more than an occasional day of rest. The injury was noticeable before, but it became even more evident during Wednesday's loss to the Phillies when Martin struggled to run out a ground ball in the ninth inning.

The situation isn't ideal, but unless it becomes a lot worse, Martin intends to be in the lineup, just like he was in Friday night's 9-2 win over the Angels, going 1-for-4 with an RBI walk. Toronto doesn't believe it's an injury that will become more severe by playing, but it could be awhile before Martin is back to 100 percent.

"He's fine, he's beat up," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, who added Martin would get the day off on Saturday. "It's a totally different position. His body, his lower body, gets beat up more than anybody else. That's natural for catchers, but he's getting through it. He doesn't complain about it, but he's not the kind of guy who would anyway."

Toronto would like to avoid putting Martin on the disabled list, and one way to speed up the recovery process would be giving some additional playing time to backup Dioner Navarro. There's also a possibility that veteran catcher Josh Thole will be promoted from Triple-A Buffalo to provide additional depth.

Thole was expected to be promoted when the rosters expand on Sept. 1, but Gibbons hinted on Friday afternoon that a move could be coming sooner than that. If Thole does receive a promotion, he likely would at least temporarily become knuckleballer R.A. Dickey's personal catcher.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.