Francisco Liriano threw a bullpen session today, and that’s all well and good, but it’s who caught him that really stood out:
Francisco Liriano throwing a side session to Russell Martin in #BlueJays bullpen right now.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) May 18, 2017
Gregor Chisholm, in a later tweet, noted that both pitcher and catcher said they felt great afterwards.
Let’s revisit where we were just ten days ago, when John Lott of the Athletic described the shoulder issues that Russell Martin had been going through, and was placed on the DL because of…
When he drives, Russell Martin can barely turn the steering wheel with his left arm. His left shoulder feels like it is shot full of Novocain, he says. … Martin is known for his toughness and ability to play through injuries. But in recent games, he found himself growing angry at his pitchers when they missed their spots. He was having trouble catching pitches he would normally snare with an easy movement of his glove. … “My shoulder doesn’t feel right,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like it’s moving the way it should. I’m having a hard time lifting my arm, catching certain pitches. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever had in my career.” … He switched to a lighter glove. That seemed to help for a while. But then he began to miss pitches he normally would catch. He summoned a muscle activation technique (MAT) specialist from Pittsburgh, where he played for two years before joining the Jays. That treatment helped, but the relief did not last.
Ominous stuff. So too was this exchange last week between Stephen Brunt and Joe Siddall on the Fan 590’s Jeff Blair Show…
BRUNT: There’s some rumblings that that is not — that is a worrisome injury. That it’s not maybe as straightforward — “go rest for ten days and come back.” What are you hearing about it?
SIDDALL: I think that play [at the plate with the Rays’ Tim Beckham on April 29th] may have made things worse, or may have kind of spurred it on, but I think this is something that Russ has been dealing with since spring training. It’s actually a cyst up there in his shoulder is causing that nerve irritation.
Shi Davidi reported the fact that Martin had a cyst in a piece at Sportsnet on May 9th, and fortunately for all of us it was actually better news. He explained that Martin “might be ready soon after his 10 days are up” after “he underwent a procedure Tuesday that drained and injected cortisone into a cyst in his shoulder that was pressuring the nerve, causing, in part, the weakness he experienced in the area.”
The fact that Martin was in the bullpen today, catching Liriano, suggests that the more optimistic timeline may be where we’re at. Even if he’s not going to be ready to go, say, tomorrow, when contrasted with the utterly terrifying stuff that had been out there last week, that’s still fucking awesome.
Just wanted to point that out! Because I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but, with all due respect to Luke Maile and his negative fifty-four wRC+, the Jays could sure as fuck use Martin back.
GET WELL SOON, RUSS!!!