Friday, June 21, 2013
Stock Report: Leonys Martin swiping CF job
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's Friday, which means it's time for our weekly stock report. Let's take a look at who's trending up and who's trending down with the Rangers:
Comeback Rangers: Thursday's 4-3 win over Oakland was the 21st come-from-behind victory of the season for the Rangers, which is tied for second in the majors. The Rangers, whose last four wins have been of the comeback variety, are 12-7 in one-run games, tying the New York Yankees for third in the majors.
Leonys Martin: He's taken over the center field job from Craig Gentry. Martin has hit safely in six straight games, going 9-for-19 in that time to boost his batting average to .278. He also has turned into a major stolen base threat, swiping bags in four of his last six games and 11 of his last 30. Manager Ron Washington said Thursday he will ride Martin's hot streak. Who wouldn't?
Ian Kinsler: His value to the Rangers has never been greater. It's no coincidence that his return sparked the club to a series win over Oakland. Kinsler, who came off the disabled list last Saturday, was 6-for-16 against the A's with four RBIs, including the game-winning hit in Thursday's 4-3 victory. Kinsler has six RBIs in six games since returning from a rib cage injury.
Lance Berkman: He has one hit in his last 15 at-bats and has been out of the lineup for three of the last four games as Washington takes it easy on his surgically-repaired right knee. Berkman had a two-run homer from the right side in Wednesday's victory. It's from the left side, which has traditionally been his power side, that Berkman isn't generating power. He has three hits in his last 29 at-bats with no extra base hits against right-handers. Berkman's last homer against a righty came on May 11 against Houston.
Elvis Andrus: He's swinging better, and he's mostly had bad luck the last few days. Still, he has two hits in his last 25 at-bats and can't get out of a funk that has him batting .239 entering Friday's game.
Tepesch/Grimm: It hasn't been easy for the Rangers' rookie starters, who have seen their numbers balloon this month. Nick Tepesch is 0-2 with a 6.95 ERA for June. Justin Grimm is 1-2 with a 9.90 ERA. The Rangers are sticking by them with Tepesch starting Sunday night on ESPN against the Cardinals.