"I'm just trying something, that's all," Washington said. "I'm just hoping Leonys can spark us, along with Kinsler."
Martin can bunt for a hit, but he's not adept at dropping sacrifice bunts or executing the hit-and-run. Those are two talents that Washington looks for in a No. 2 hitter, but Martin is, at least, hot, having entered Saturday hitting .357 in his last 24 games.
"It's not a big deal. ... It's a change in the lineup, but my approach doesn't change," Martin said. "I've hit first and I've hit second before in my career, so it's not a big deal."
When the Rangers signed Martin as an amateur free agent two years ago, he was projected as developing into a top-of-the-order hitter, but the Rangers don't see him there yet.
Martin has 18 stolen bases but just 15 walks in 244 plate appearances -- that's one walk per 16.27 plate appearances. By comparison, Kinsler averages one walk every 10.64 plate appearances. Oakland's Coco Crisp leads all AL leadoff hitters, with a walk every 8.57 plate appearances.
Washington doesn't know if Martin is capable of being a leadoff hitter at this point in his development.
"Right now he's still learning," Washington said. "After he gets a few years under his belt, we'll know. Right now he's out there surviving as best he can."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.