Blue Jays activate Martin, unveil 2018 schedule

The Toronto Blue Jays activated catcher Russell Martin (Montreal, Que.) on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Jay Blue

The Toronto Blue Jays activated catcher Russell Martin (Montreal, Que.) on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Jay Blue

By Andrew Hendriks

Canadian Baseball Network

TORONTO - After missing the last 29 games with a left-oblique strain, Russell Martin will return to the Toronto Blue Jays active roster as the club looks to help dash the Baltimore Orioles' Wild Card hopes with another win on Tuesday.

For the season, the 34-year-old catcher has slashed .223/.354/.381 with 18 extra-base hits over 329 at-bats. Despite missing a total of 41 games due to injury, Martin ranks third among all Major League catchers with 49 walks in 2017 and is tied with Chicago Cubs backstop Wilson Contreras for sixth in runs scored with 46.

The Montreal native will share catching duties with Miguel Montero, Raffy Lopez and Luke Maile as the season draws to a close, providing Blue Jays manager John Gibbons with more defensive flexibility late in ball games.

THE SKED AHEAD

Formally released on Tuesday, the Blue Jays will open their 2018 schedule at home against the New York Yankees on March 29 and close out the regular season in Tampa Bay on September 30.

Interleague matchups include trips into Washington, New York, Atlanta and Miami while the Mets, Braves, Phillies and Marlins will all visit Toronto at various points next season.

As expected, the team will be changing things up as nine of Blue Jays' 13 Saturday home games will be played at 4:07 p.m. while the other four will stick to the customary 1:07 p.m. start time.

The Blue Jays will play host to host Detroit on Canada Day and the always popular Jr. Jays promotion is set to move from Saturday to all Sunday home games in 2018.

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