Martinez returns to the dish

Martinez returns to the dish

KANSAS CITY -- Victor Martinez was back at backstop Friday for the Tribe.

For the first time since his Aug. 29 return from the disabled list following right elbow surgery, Martinez got the start at catcher as the Indians opened their series against the Royals.

The plan remains for Martinez to play behind the plate no more than twice a week for the remainder of the season. But manager Eric Wedge hasn't put together a specific schedule for Martinez.

"I don't think I can put one together until we see how he makes out [Friday]," Wedge said.

Martinez worked four games at catcher during his rehab stint at Triple-A Buffalo. Upon his activation, the Indians had him perform throwing drills from behind the plate three different times before clearing him to start a game at the position.

The elbow, which had flared up in May as a result of bone chips that were removed in the surgery, is not considered a factor at the plate. But the Indians wanted to make sure it no longer affects Martinez's throws.

Friday marked Martinez's first start at catcher since June 11. He entered Friday 3-for-15 (.250) with a double, a homer and two RBIs since coming off the DL. The homer was his first of 2008.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.