Rangers outfielder Leonys Martin has a broken hamate bone, Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. The injury could require the bone to be removed surgically, which would likely end his season.
Martin, 27, hit a disappointing .220/.265/.314 with five home runs, 25 RBI, and 14 stolen bases in 309 plate appearances. The Rangers optioned him to Triple-A Round Rock last week and he was hitting better in nine games prior to the injury.
Delino DeShields, Jr. has been handling center field in Martin’s absence and figures to do so the rest of the way.
Leonys Martin has been Texas’ starting center fielder since 2013 and hasn’t played in the minors since 2012, but two weeks ago the Rangers benched him for Delino DeShields and now they’re sending him to Triple-A.
Martin heads back to the minors as a 27-year-old with nearly 1,500 plate appearances as a big leaguer, but his performance this season has been genuinely terrible with a .220 batting average and .578 OPS in 94 games.
Even when Martin was playing well in 2013 and 2014 he offered modest offensive value thanks to poor power and plate discipline, but made up for it with good speed and defense.
Interesting lineup note for the Rangers today, as rookie Joey Gallo is starting in center field against the Blue Jays. Let’s just say that he doesn’t have much in the way of experience at the position…
Gallo has appeared in 13 games in left field this season between the majors and the minors, but otherwise he has exclusively played third base. However, he’s getting the nod over the struggling Leonys Martin in center field this afternoon.
Adrian Beltre returned from his thumb injury this week and the Rangers are close to getting Josh Hamilton and Delino DeShields, Jr. back from the disabled list, so Gallo could be headed down to the minors soon. The 21-year-old is batting .224/.306/.461 with five home runs and 10 RBI over his first 22 games in the majors. He has struck out in 42.4 percent of his plate appearances.