Possible groin injury creates concerns about Russell Martin’s status – LA Times

By Dylan Hernandez
Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Phoenix – Russell Martin felt enough of a twinge in his groin area for the Dodgers’ medical staff to send him to a nearby hospital for an MRI on Saturday.

Manager Joe Torre admitted that he was concerned about the catcher.

Asked if the problem was muscular, Torre replied, “I think we’re finding that out.”

Martin was scheduled to be examined by the team physician, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, on Saturday night.

“Hopefully, it’s nothing more than [something] that will get better with a little rest,” Torre said. “But we’ll see.”

Torre said Martin had experienced discomfort for a couple of days but did not tell trainers anything until he left the Dodgers’ Cactus League opener Friday.

“It couldn’t have been too bad if he had felt it for a few days and just figured it was part of the spring-training discomfort,” Torre said.

Torre said he hadn’t started to make contingency plans in case Martin’s injury was serious. With backup catcher Brad Ausmus turning 41 in April and probably unable to handle everyday duties, Martin would most likely be replaced by prospect A.J. Ellis.

Gagne makes spring debut

Eric Gagne said he had more fun in his first outing of the spring than his line might indicate.

Guns N’ Roses blared over the stadium’s public-address system. The crowd rose to its feet.

“I didn’t know it was coming,” Gagne said of his trademark entrance music. “But it was good.”

Certainly better than the results.

Gagne gave up two runs and three hits in one inning.

But Gagne said he was encouraged by how he felt, pointing to how he warmed up in the bullpen and a lack of physical discomfort.

McDonald rocked in spring debut

This spring was supposed to be different.

Whereas James McDonald went into spring training last year with only a vague idea of what he wanted to do, he reported to camp this year with a clear vision: He said he wanted to be the Dodgers’ fifth starter.

But McDonald, who lasted a month into the 2009 regular season in that role, started his quest to reclaim the job with an admittedly shaky effort.

McDonald gave up three runs, five hits and a walk in two innings. Eric Stults, who also is competing for the final spot in the rotation, pitched two scoreless innings.

“It was my first time off the mound in a while,” McDonald said. “My breaking balls weren’t too good.”

But McDonald said he drew confidence from how he had a rough start in the Dominican winter league but managed to turn his season around.

Updated March 6, 2010