Martin set for return after missing a month

Blue Jays catcher expected to be in Wednesday's lineup vs. Orioles

Martin set for return after missing a month

TORONTO -- Russell Martin is expected to make his return to the Blue Jays' lineup on Wednesday night after missing more than a month because of an oblique injury.

Martin was activated from the 10-day disabled list prior to Tuesday night's game against the Orioles but was not in the starting lineup. He's scheduled to go through a full round of batting practice on Wednesday, and if all goes well, Martin will be cleared for a return in the series finale at Rogers Centre against Baltimore.

Time is running out on the regular season and Martin could have opted to shut it down for the year instead of returning, but he made it clear to the organization that he wanted to play. Martin also spent time on the DL earlier in the year with a neck injury and has been limited to 81 games in 2017. This will be just the second season in Martin's 12-year career that he will not play in at least 110 games.

"I know he wants to do it really bad," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "There's a couple of weeks left and it's important to him. I could have gone either way, but he wants to do it."

Martin will take over his regular starting job upon returning, but he won't necessarily be in the lineup quite as much as earlier in the season. Toronto currently has three other catchers on the roster -- Luke Maile, Miguel Montero and Raffy Lopez -- and only so much playing time to go around.

As the clear No. 1 option, Martin remains the top priority behind the dish, but the Blue Jays will rest him over the final two weeks and find opportunities to use their other options behind the plate.

"We're going to ease him in," Gibbons said. "If he plays tomorrow, he'll play tomorrow and then probably the first game in Minnesota. Give him a day and kind of gauge it. He's going to be fine. If he wasn't healthy, he wouldn't be able to do it, but he also hasn't been squatting regularly either."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.