Martinez goes to the bullpen

Martinez goes to the bullpen

SEATTLE -- Rookie right-hander Nick Martinez is staying in the Major Leagues. With Pedro Figueroa going on the disabled list with a torn ligament in his right elbow, the Rangers have decided to keep Martinez in the big leagues as a long reliever rather having him continue to pitch every fifth day at Double-A Frisco.

"That was our intention but right now, with the injuries we have, we feel he can help us," manager Ron Washington said. "How long that will last, I don't know. He can give us innings."

Martinez started on Tuesday against the Athletics and threw 92 pitches. He probably won't be available until Saturday.

"I feel great about it," Martinez said. "The ultimate goal is to be in the big leagues. That's what I want, the opportunity to help the team. I don't know what the future holds for me. If I can get back up there as a starter, that's fine. If they need me in the bullpen, that's good too."

Martinez, who has a 4.09 ERA in his two starts with the Rangers, has made 58 starts and 17 relief appearances in the Minor Leagues.

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.