Notes: Leonys Martin staking claim to CF job
Jake Roth/USA TODAY SportsWith the way Leonys Martin has performed in spring, there might not be a platoon in center field after all.
"I'm getting him in against everyone and he isn't showing any sign of giving in to left-handers," Washington said. "If this continues, and we feel like he can handle lefties as well as righties, which he has always handled in his career, it's a possibility."
Martin displayed his improved maturity at the plate in Wednesday's game against the Chicago White Sox when he ripped an RBI triple down the right field line against a lefty. Even more impressive was that the hit came one at-bat after striking out on three pitches -- and looking fooled on each one.
Coming into camp, the left-handed hitting Martin already had a good reputation with the bat. If he lost the starting center field job, or improbably didn't make the team at all, it would have been more likely because of defensive struggles. That hasn't been the case though, as his glove has been almost as impressive as his bat.
|Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' offseason moves and Josh Hamilton's comments about DFW not being a baseball town. |
"I think what's happening is he knows he has a chance to probably make this team and he came here ready to play," Washington said.
So far, Martin has been the bright spot in a struggling Rangers offense, going 6-for-11 (.545) with two multi-hit games. He entered Thursday's game as the team leader in hits and ranks among the Cactus League leaders in multiple offensive categories. His six hits and two triples are tied for the MLB lead.
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