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Back ailment sends catcher Martin to injured list

Kershaw to start for L.A. Sunday or Monday; Ryu tests injury
April 10, 2019

ST. LOUIS -- Just one day after losing pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu to a strained left groin, the Dodgers were forced to make another roster move on Wednesday, when catcher Russell Martin was placed on the 10-day injured list with inflammation in his lower back. Catcher Rocky Gale was recalled from

ST. LOUIS -- Just one day after losing pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu to a strained left groin, the Dodgers were forced to make another roster move on Wednesday, when catcher Russell Martin was placed on the 10-day injured list with inflammation in his lower back.

Catcher Rocky Gale was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to take Martin’s place on the roster.

Manager Dave Roberts said that the injury “shouldn’t be an issue” and that Martin won’t face any additional medical tests.

The injury occurred on Tuesday, when Martin was fielding ground balls during pregame warmups.

“[He] just bent over and it sort of spasmed on him,” Roberts said. “From what he says, it typically takes him a week to get back, and so for us it was a no-brainer with the IL.”

With the Dodgers in the middle of a stretch that sees them playing 24 games in 25 days, Austin Barnes will shoulder most of the load behind the plate, with Gale -- who Roberts called “a great receiver” -- likely to see action in day games that follow night games. The Dodgers play such a game on Thursday in St. Louis in the series finale.

“We’re going to lean on Austin,” Roberts said, “but obviously we’re going to be mindful, because we’ve still got a long way to go.”

Kershaw to join rotation

Clayton Kershaw allowed two runs on five hits across six innings in a rehab start for the Double-A Tulsa Drillers on Tuesday night, paving the way for his next appearance to be at Dodger Stadium.

Roberts confirmed that Kershaw exited his start healthy. The Dodgers are still evaluating whether Kershaw will pitch on Sunday against Milwaukee or on Monday against Cincinnati.

“He used his pitch mix and he felt good coming out of it,” Roberts said.

Both runs Kershaw allowed came on solo home runs. His opponent on Tuesday was St. Louis' Double-A affiliate, the Springfield Cardinals, while the two parent clubs clashed on the field at Busch Stadium.

Ryu tests injury; Hill set for simulated game

Ryu threw on flat ground on Wednesday afternoon in St. Louis as he tested his groin. He’s likely to repeat that test on Friday while simulating his delivery before moving to throw on a slope.

“I just talked to him, [and] he said he feels good,” Roberts said. “[He] could have done more as far as exerted more, but just wanted to be cautious.”

Left-hander Rich Hill is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Friday as he recovers from an MCL strain in his left knee. Roberts reported that Hill was “throwing the heck out of it,” and suggested he could be approaching a return to the rotation soon after that game.

Saturday starter up in the air

With Kershaw set for Sunday or Monday, the Dodgers have yet to determine who will take the mound for them against the Brewers on Saturday. Roberts said the team is mulling whether to recall a pitcher for the start or to use a bullpen game. Right-hander Dennis Santana is one possible starter that Roberts is considering.

Jackson returned from Orioles

The Orioles returned Rule 5 Draft pick, shortstop Drew Jackson, to the Dodgers on Wednesday. Jackson cleared waivers after being designated for assignment by Baltimore on April 5.

Jackson was traded to the Dodgers with right-hander Aneurys Zabala in exchange for right-hander Chase De Jong in March 2017. He made his Major League debut for the Orioles this season, going hitless with one walk and one strikeout in four plate appearances.