ARLINGTON -- With a lefty on the mound for the Angels on Sunday, Rangers manager Ron Washington chose to leave Leonys Martin out of the lineup for the first time since Aug. 5.
Washington said he has been happy with Martin's approach recently -- "he's swinging at strikes," the manager said -- but Washington was more guarded in his assessment of Martin's performance against lefties.
Asked if Martin needed to show more improvement to get more playing time against left-handers, Washington paused for about 20 seconds before offering only one word: "Yeah."
Martin is hitting .198 (19-for-96) this season against lefties with four walks and 26 strikeouts. His on-base percentage against right-handers is .115 higher than against lefties.
At least earlier in the season, Washington showed some willingness to start Martin against southpaws; Martin has started 22 of the 35 games the Rangers have played against left-handed starters.
For his career, Martin is a .211 hitter against lefties in 237 at-bats.
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.