Russell Martin is back in the lineup for the Pirates tonight, playing catcher and hitting seventh. Martin said the soreness in his neck that has kept him out of a handful of recent games is gone.
“There was soreness in there. you can play through some soreness but when it’s your neck and you’re playing a position where there can be some contact you want your neck to feel like it can support your head,” Martin said. “I’ve got a big head, you know.”
Martin had attempted to play through the problem but said he wanted to be in a position to help the team and his neck was preventing that.
“I thought I was ready last Thursday in New York. I played and it didn’t feel great,” Martin said. “I want to be out there just because I enjoy playing but I want to be healthy for the team. I felt good yesterday and they kind of gave me an extra day yesterday just to make sure I was ready today and today I feel great.”
Martin said his biggest concern had been a lack of range of motion, and while he still feels somewhat limited in that aspect now that the soreness is gone he is ready to play.
“I don’t have 100 percent range of motion but there’s no soreness so I don’t feel like I need to be cautious out there,” he said. “I can go out there and do what I need to do without interfering.”
Milwaukee (16-20, 4th National League Central)
1. Aoki rf
2. Segura ss
3. Braun lf
4. Ramirex 3b
5. Gomez cf
6. Betancourt 1b
7. Weeks 2b
8. Maldonado c
9. Lohse p
Pittsburgh (21-17, 3rd National League Central)
1. Marte lf
2. Tabata rf
3. McCutchen cf
4. Jones 1b
5. Walker 2b
6. Alvarez 3b
7. Martin c
8. Barmes ss
9. Locke p
Our lowest rates are $2.22 per month under our Top Prospect Plan, which also gets you a FREE copy of the 2016 Prospect Guide -- a book that features profiles on every prospect in the system. We also have a promotion with DraftKings where you can get a FREE one-year subscription to the site by signing up as a new DraftKings customer and making a $5 minimum deposit. Subscribe today for our full playoff coverage, and all of our daily coverage of the Pirates' system.