Leonys Martin finalized a $15.5 million major-league contract with the Rangers last week and the 23-year-old Cuban center fielder made his American debut at Double-A, going 3-for-5 with two doubles and a steal.
Martin’s contract includes an immediate spot on the 40-man roster and most pre-signing scouting reports suggested he was pretty close to being major-league ready, so his thriving at Double-A right away would put even more pressure on the Rangers’ current center fielder, Julio Borbon.
Borbon and Martin are similar players, with speed and defense accounting for much of their value and power potential being the big question mark for both guys, but Borbon’s defense has been shaky dating back to late last season and he’s gotten on base at a measly .324 clip despite a solid .284 batting average.
Borbon injured his hamstring yesterday and may be headed for the disabled list, but rather than turn to Martin already the Rangers seem likely to call up veteran Endy Chavez instead. If they need some help in center field six weeks from now, however, Martin may be the one getting the call.
The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.
Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.
Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.
Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.
Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.