NEW YORK -- The Rangers signed catcher Koyie Hill to a Minor League contract and assigned him to Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday, the same day that Luis Martinez made his first start at catcher for Texas. The club is scrambling to find depth at a position that was shared by Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba for the first four months of the season.
Napoli is on the disabled list and Torrealba was released after the Rangers acquired Geovany Soto from the Cubs on July 31. Torrealba could be close to signing with the Blue Jays.
Hill was released by the Nationals on Aug. 3 after hitting .163 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 31 games at Triple-A Syracuse. He played in 11 games with the Cubs earlier this season. In 313 Major League games, Hill has a career average of .210 with eight home runs and 76 RBIs with the Dodgers, D-backs and Cubs.
Martinez was called up from Round Rock on Saturday after Napoli went on the disabled list with a strained left quad muscle. Martinez was up with the Rangers for one week in July but appeared in only one game.
On July 18 in Oakland, Martinez went behind the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 3-3 game. He was there for three pitches, as the game ended on Brandon Hicks' home run off reliever Michael Kirkman. Martinez played in 22 games for the Padres last season before signing as a Minor League free agent with the Rangers in the offseason.
"It's a great opportunity," Martinez said. "I'm going to make the best of it and help my team any way I can. This team has so much talent; I want to help any way I can to get us in the World Series and get a ring. I'm enjoying every moment of this."