Saturday, September 3, 2011
Notes: Leonys Martin pleased with debut
By Richard Durrett
BOSTON -- Rangers outfielder Leonys Martin was so anxious to get in his first big league game that when the eighth inning came on Friday, he started trotting onto the field.
But manager Ron Washington wanted the center fielder to pinch hit and then play the field in the next half inning.
"I said, 'Where are you going?'" Washington said. "He was excited."
Martin ended up having a memorable debut. The 23-year-old got a single in his first at-bat and made a nice catch in deep center.
"It was good for me and I'm glad to get the first one out of the way," Martin said through a translator. "It was neat to do it in Boston, such a big baseball town too and against a good pitcher."
Martin said he kept the baseball from his first hit.
"I want to show it to my kids when they grow up," said Martin, smiling.
The catch in center field impressed his manager as Martin used a smooth, easy motion to get out to it.
"I wasn't so sure he was going to catch up with it, but he did," Washington said. "It was a nice play. [Jed] Lowrie smoked that ball. It's a tough play when it's hit directly over your head, but he ran it down."
Martin debuted after playing just 73 career minor league games. It's the fewest minor league games played before a big league debut for the Rangers since Pete Incaviglia went from college to the majors in 1986.
* Washington said Derek Holland was not happy when he was removed after seven shutout innings on Friday. "He was shocked because he was into it," Washington said. "But we thought it was time to save some bullets right there."
Holland hasn't shown the fatigue issues that the other young pitchers like Alexi Ogando and Matt Harrison have this season. But the club is aware that he's thrown 172 1/3 innings, second-most on the club to C.J. Wilson. So when they can get Holland out of games early, they're going to do it. It's particularly important to do that now, as the club tries to close in on the postseason. They're going to need Holland and don't want to push him if they don't have to. And Washington wasn't going to let the chance to throw a shutout force him to deviate from that plan.
"Once he got high-5s from his teammates and we had a chance to explain to him what we were doing, he was cool," Washington said.
* Omar Quintanilla cleared waivers and refused his assignment to Triple-A Round Rock. So he becomes a free agent. He was 1-for-22 with 2 RBIs in 11 games for the Rangers.
* Adrian Beltre wanted one more at-bat on Friday and the manager agreed. He wanted to keep swinging because he just came back and is trying to get in a rhythm. Washington said Beltre is still doing a good job not trying to push the hamstring. "He's not going to get crazy," Washington said. "If he pulls it again, we'll see him in spring training. That's what I keep telling him."