Wash giving Leonys more playing time

Wash giving Leonys more playing time

Wash giving Leonys more playing time
SEATTLE -- The Rangers faced a right-handed pitcher Saturday for the second straight day to open the second half. They did so with Leonys Martin batting ninth and playing center field.

He was also batting .194 while Craig Gentry was sitting with a .326 average. But manager Ron Washington said he wanted to give Martin a chance to show what he can do against right-handed pitching.

"My feeling is we have a 25-man roster and I'm trying to get something out of all of them," Washington. "These first few days I want to see what I can get out of Martin. It's nothing against Gentry."

Gentry normally gets much of his playing time when there is a left-hander on the mound. But he has still hit .290 (20-for-69) against right-handers, as opposed to .360 against left-handers.

Martin, who is here because Mitch Moreland is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, started on Friday, striking out twice and dropping a sacrifice bunt in his first three plate appearance. Martin, who is hitless in his last 13 at-bats, is in his first full professional season. The Rangers signed him as an amateur free agent last year after his defection from Cuba. He missed five weeks earlier this season at Triple-A Round Rock with a torn ligament in his left thumb.

"He's a talented kid," Washington said. "He's just inexperienced. It's that simple. He can run, play defense, he can throw, he's got some pop in his bat. He's just a young kid getting inconsistent playing time. There will be times when he gets consistent playing time and his talent will shine.

"I'm trying to get him so at-bats so he can feel good about himself. I'm not going to have him just sitting around here."