Pirates notebook: Nagging injury not new for Russell Martin


ST. LOUIS -- The injury that sent Russell Martin to the disabled list, which an MRI exam confirmed as a strained left hamstring, has bothered him since the beginning of spring training, he said Sunday.

"Even coming into spring training, I felt like there was some tightness in my hammy," Martin said.

"I just knew that I actually wasn't really 100 percent sure what the severity was, I just knew that sprinting wouldn't be a good idea."

In spring training, when starters routinely leave the game after five or six innings and receive days off in between, Martin could manage the pain. He aggravated the injury April 19, when he had to hustle down the line on an infield single after he hit a ball that deflected off Milwaukee Brewers reliever Rob Wooten. When he proceeded to score from first on Andrew McCutchen's double, he knew he tweaked the hamstring.

"That's actually how it felt at the beginning of spring," Martin said.

The pain in the hamstring was most apparent when Martin had to check his swing.

"I feel a jolt and I give away with my left leg and then the bat's going through the zone," he said. "I'm like, I'm pretty sure my mind told me to check my swing there."

Martin felt pain in his hip, as well, but said that subsided after a few days of rest and thought it resulted from his body compensating for the hamstring. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection in the hamstring and plans to rest for a few days before beginning rehabilitation.

Pitcher Sadler recalled

The Pirates called up right-hander Casey Sadler from Class AAA Indianapolis before Sunday's game to aid a bullpen that worked seven innings Saturday.

To make room on the roster, the Pirates optioned Jared Hughes to Indianapolis.

"We needed the innings," general manager Neal Huntington said. "Casey has thrown the ball very well, we feel like he's got major league-caliber stuff. He can give us multiple innings if need be."

Sadler, 23, had a 1.67 ERA in 27 innings for Indianapolis this season. He has not appeared in relief since 2012.

The Pirates added Sadler, a 25th-round draft pick in 2010 from Western Oklahoma State College, to the 40-man roster after the end of last season.

Dizziness and weakness resulting from a nosebleed forced Francisco Liriano from the game in the third inning Saturday, meaning the relievers had to finish it off.

Five relievers made appearances and Bryan Morris warmed up in the bullpen twice.

Rodriguez on the mend

Wandy Rodriguez, who is on the 15-day DL because of right knee inflammation, threw a bullpen session Sunday at Busch Stadium.

He will make one rehabilitation start, and Huntington said the Pirates hope Rodriguez can rejoin the rotation after that. Due to quirks in the minor league schedule, Huntington said, the team has not determined when or where Rodriguez will make his rehab start.

Another catcher injury

Minor league catcher Reese McGuire, one of the Pirates' first-round draft picks in 2013, went on the disabled list after taking a foul ball to the abdomen.

Bill Brink: bbrink@post-gazette.com and on Twitter @BrinkPG.

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