BRADENTON, Fla. -- Russell Martin walked out of the Pirates' training room on Wednesday morning wearing a wide smile and an electronic heating gadget strapped to his right shoulder and said he "feels much better today."
Martin was scratched from Tuesday's lineup with what was categorized as "upper-body soreness" and remained on the sidelines on Wednesday. The generic description notwithstanding, the affected area is clearly his shoulder.
Saying it was "the first time ever" he'd experienced the problem, Martin attributed it to not warming up properly prior to making his only exhibition start on Sunday.
"I know exactly where it came from," Martin said. "I did my routine, all the catching stuff, and by the time I jumped in with J-Mac [James McDonald, that day's starter], he'd already started long-tossing with Herbie [bullpen catcher Heberto Andrade] and he's up to 90 feet.
"I'm used to starting with the pitcher, so when I jumped in, my first throw was at 90 feet. Then my arm just never got loose. I rushed my warm-up that day, and just never got loose and there was a little bit of soreness."
Given the admission that his arm never loosened up, it might be significant to bear in mind that in the fourth inning of that game, Martin picked off Atlanta's Blake DeWitt at first base with a strong snap throw, and left the game before the next inning began. It is a reasonable assumption that the all-out throw to first, released with an irregular motion, triggered the soreness.