Monday, August 13, 2012
Buzz: Luis Martinez to get time at catcher
By Mike Mazzeo / ESPNNY.com
NEW YORK -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington will start backup catcher Luis Martinez on Tuesday night against the New York Yankees.
Geovany Soto will get the “bulk” of the catching duties with Mike Napoli current on the disabled list, Washington said, but Martinez will receive “some” playing time.
Washington said he wanted to pair Martinez with Tuesday night’s starter, left-hander Matt Harrison, because the two were batterymates in spring training and there is a comfortability factor.
This is Martinez’s second stint with the club after being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday. He was also with the Rangers from July 14-21, and appeared as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning on July 18 in Oakland.
His only other previous major-league action was with the San Diego Padres in 2011, when he hit .203 with one homer and 10 RBIs in 22 games.
Soto, Monday night’s starter, will be back behind the plate on Wednesday night, Washington said.
Washington is worried about possibly burning Soto out. Counting Monday night, Soto has started six of the last seven games.
Soto, 29, is batting .192 with one homer and four RBIs.
* Washington is content with having a three-game bench until he can get his team’s pitching sorted out.
“It is what it is,” he said. “It’s something we’ve done to try to get our pitching in order. At some point, we’ll correct it. So far, it hasn’t been a problem. We’re just trying to make sure we’ve got enough pitching facing teams like Detroit, New York and Toronto.”
Washington said it’s “possible” the team could add another bench player -- likely an infielder -- when it begins a 10-game homestand on Aug. 20.
Michael Young took some groundballs at shortstop prior to Monday night’s game against the New York Yankees. Washington said it’s possible he could give Elvis Andrus his second DH day of the season and start Young at short in Toronto.
If Andrus or Ian Kinsler were to suffer an injury during a game, Washington said Adrian Beltre or Mike Olt would take over if it was early; Young would come in and he would lose the DH if it were later on.
Washington said he’s comfortable using Beltre at short for a couple innings, while Olt played short in college.
* Washington was asked why the Rangers were able to turn it around; they currently have the third-best winning percentage in the majors in August (8-3, .727).
“The Anaheim Angels,” he replied. “When they kicked us in the stomach, it woke us up. We got embarrassed, but we got our fight back, and I don’t think anyone’s gonna take it out of us.”
Josh Hamilton has gotten back to raking. In his last five games, he’s hitting .500 with three homers and nine RBIs, and comes into Monday night’s game riding a 10-game hitting streak. Hamilton is just one RBI shy of 100 for the season.
Washington said he’s “convinced” Hamilton has gotten out of his recent malaise at the plate.
“He’s not chasing balls a mile out of the zone,” Washington joked. “He’s only chasing them half a mile outside of the zone.”
* Harrison says he's over the stomach virus that plagued him in his last start in Boston.
"I feel good," he said. "I'm ready to rebound from my last start."