Saturday, March 24, 2012
Roster moves: Leonys Martin sent to AAA
By Richard Durrett
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers made some roster moves Saturday and now have 40 players left in camp. The moves also dwindle some of the candidates for various spots. Here's a look:
* Leonys Martin was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock, leaving Craig Gentry and Julio Borbon to fight it out for the center field spot. This isn't a surprise as Martin was expected to start the season in the minors.
"He needs to play and the innings are getting to be few and far between now," manager Ron Washington said. "He's a young kid that needs to play baseball. He's a very impressive kid. He needs to play and continue to develop his skills."
Washington said Martin had a "100 percent turnaround" from where he was when he visited the club a few times last year to work with Washington, outfield coach Gary Pettis and others.
"He's improved every way -- baserunning, instincts, outfield, all of that," Washington said. "He just needs to play. He played half a year in Double-A and Triple-A and had some down time because of injuries. We're running out of time here as far as innings go."
* Greg Miclat, one of the candidates for the utility infield spot, was assigned to minor league camp. That means of the four players vying for that position, two are left: Alberto Gonzalez and Luis Hernandez. Look for them to get playing time in Cactus League games as the team sorts all of that out.
* Mike Olt has been impressive this spring with his defense at third base and consistent approach at the plate. He's now been assigned to minor league camp, where he'll continue to get time at first base as the Rangers try to make him more versatile. Washington said Olt will start the season at Double-A Frisco.
"He's a baseball player," Washington said. "He can play third base. He has good action and tremendous raw power, but he hasn't played a whole lot of baseball. He's a very solid defensive player and has impressed us with his bat."
* OF Engel Beltre was optioned to Double-A Frisco.
* C Chris Robinson and LHP Ben Snyder were also assigned to minor league camp.