Martin day to day after being scratched Sunday

Blue Jays catcher left Friday's game with neck spasms

April 24th, 2016

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays made a last-minute change to their lineup prior to Sunday afternoon's 6-3 win over the Athletics, scratching starting catcher Russell Martin and inserting backup Josh Thole into the lineup.

Martin left Friday's game against the A's in the sixth inning with neck spasms, but he returned on Saturday and went 1-for-4 with an RBI in Toronto's 9-3 victory. The veteran backstop had his neck flare up once again prior to Sunday's contest, and he is day to day as Toronto opens a three-game series with the White Sox on Monday night at Rogers Centre.

"When your neck bothers you, it affects everything in this game; your throwing, your hitting, all that stuff," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Martin.

The 33-year-old Martin has had a slow start to begin the year, hitting .154 with one extra-base hit. If Martin's injury issues persist, Toronto could create a spot on the 40-man roster to call up either A.J. Jimenez or Tony Sanchez from Triple-A Buffalo to assist Thole.

Jimenez, a former top prospect in the Blue Jays' organization has yet to make the Major Leagues and has hit .271 in parts of nine Minor League seasons. Sanchez has played in 51 games the past three seasons with the Pirates, hitting .259 with four home runs and 18 RBIs.

Primarily used to catch knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, Thole hit ninth and finished 1-for-4 on Sunday. The 29-year-old is hitting .167 on the season with a .544 OPS, and has appeared in 57 games or less the past four seasons with the Blue Jays. Thole last played regularly in 2012 as a member of the New York Mets, getting into 104 games while making 90 starts.