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.
Josh Hamilton’s rehab tour continued Saturday evening at Double-A Frisco, where the 33-year-old slugger smacked four singles in five at-bats and drove in one run as the RoughRiders fell 15-14 in a barn-burner against the Astros’ Double-A team.
Hamilton played center field in this one — for a full nine innings — and that could be where he gets regular playing time when he returns to the majors given that Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin has struggled mightily with injuries and ineffectiveness.
Before the game Saturday at Frisco’s Dr. Pepper Ballpark, Hamilton once again addressed his messy departure from the Angels. And he revealed something pretty interesting. Tom Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News has the story …
Hamilton spelled out in no uncertain terms that he tried on a number of occasions over the last two years to speak to [Angels owner Arte Moreno] about his hitting problems and other issues but was repeatedly told by general manager Jerry DiPoto that he would deliver the message.
“I wanted to talk to [Moreno] and tell him, ‘I’m working my butt off and want to be the guy that played against you all these years,’ but I was turned down by the GM and the team president. They said they would let him know,” Hamilton said.
“Same thing after this incident [his offseason relapse] and the [shoulder] surgery. I did what I needed to do to be a responsible man and employee and reach out to him. So my hands are clean.”
It’s a little difficult to entirely buy the “my hands are clean” part, but shame on Moreno if he truly refused to have a conversation with Hamilton. How does that help the lack of mutual trust? It only grows it.
Hamilton will play another game at Double-A Frisco on Sunday and then head to Triple-A Round Rock for games Tuesday and Wednesday. He could re-debut for the Rangers on Friday at Yankee Stadium.
From beat writer T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com comes word that Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin aggravated his sprained left wrist Monday night when he got jammed by an inside pitch. Martin is not in the Rangers’ lineup on Tuesday against the Royals and he could be looking at an extended absence.
Martin missed four straight games last week with the same injury and it obviously hadn’t fully healed. The 27-year-old was batting just .209/.246/.278 through his first 123 plate appearances this season.
Delino DeShields Jr. is playing center field and batting ninth for the Rangers on Tuesday night.