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Spring over for L.A. catcher

LISTEN UP, SONNY: Cubs fan Sara Davis, 87, of Elmhurst, Ill., shares a few opinions with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.

Associated Press

LISTEN UP, SONNY: Cubs fan Sara Davis, 87, of Elmhurst, Ill., shares a few opinions with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Dodgers catcher Russell Martin is expected to miss opening day after an MRI exam revealed a pulled groin.

Martin first felt discomfort during a running drill a few days before the Dodgers' first spring game Friday. He started Friday's game against the White Sox and played five innings, even stealing a base.

"We don't know how long it's going to be," general manager Ned Colletti said Sunday in Mesa, where Los Angeles' spring game against a Cubs split squad was rained out. "It's four to six weeks right now but you know how that goes."

A.J. Ellis, who has 13 career major-league at-bats, will get the bulk of the catching duties with Martin out. The Dodgers also have veteran backup Brad Ausmus, who turns 41 in April.

On Sunday, Martin called his injury "a little strain" and said it wasn't a big deal. Moments later, manager Joe Torre said otherwise.

"We're going to send him back to L.A. to have another evaluation," Torre said. A team doctor "looked at the MRI and it's a groin pull. He played on it a couple of days thinking it was just spring training aches and pains."

Torre said Martin still can do strengthening exercises for his upper body and taking batting practice was a possibility.

JAMAICAN FIELD: Jamaica is taking after its baseball-crazy Caribbean neighbors with plans for a new field supported by Major League Baseball.

Island officials said the diamond will be part of a new stadium in Trelawny, west of the capital Kingston.

MLB officials said it would be the organization's first investment in the Caribbean island if the project is approved.

ANGELS: Centerfielder Torii Hunter aggravated the groin injury that forced him to have a sports hernia operation in November but said he expects to be back in the lineup Tuesday.

BRAVES: Right-hander Jair Jurr-jens, who had been held back by right shoulder discomfort, had a pain-free 24-pitch batting practice session in his first time facing live hitters.

CUBS: Right-hander Angel Guzman said he is considering surgery on his right shoulder to repair a torn ligament, even though it wouldn't guarantee he would pitch again. … Manager Lou Piniella said touted shortstop prospect Starlin Castro will open the season at Triple-A Iowa.

D'BACKS: Right-hander Brandon Webb, who called his last bullpen session "average," said he felt fine after playing catch, but it's unclear when he'll throw again. Webb, a former NL Cy Young Award winner, had shoulder surgery in August.

MARLINS: Centerfielder Cameron Maybin strained his left groin during the eighth inning against the Cardinals. He is not expected to play for several days.

PADRES: Outfielder Scott Hairston left the game against the Mariners in the third inning after he was hit on the left hand by a pitch. An X-ray revealed a contusion.

ROCKIES: Closer Huston Street said his right shoulder felt surprisingly good during a bullpen session. The right-hander felt tightness and inflammation just before spring training opened.

ROYALS: Third baseman Alex Gordon is expected to be sidelined for three to four weeks with a broken right thumb. Manager Trey Hillman said Gordon probably will miss the April 5 opener against the Tigers.

TWINS: Closer Joe Nathan is headed to Minnesota to get his surgically repaired right elbow checked out. Nathan said he felt fine while he was working out before spring games, but there was some soreness after an outing Saturday. … Right-hander Nick Blackburn signed a four-year, $14 million contract with an $8 million club option for 2014.

Spring over for L.A. catcher 03/07/10 [Last modified: Sunday, March 7, 2010 10:42pm]

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