The continued struggles of right-hander Tyson Ross resulted in a demotion to the bullpen Thursday, and Nick Martinez will be recalled from Triple A Round Rock on Friday to start at Oakland.
A.J. Griffin was bumped from Friday to Sunday to accommodate the change, and left-hander Cole Hamels will stay on his normal turn Saturday in the second of three games against the last-place A’s.
It was one of several ragged outings from Ross, who missed the first 2 1/2 months of the season after surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He missed all but the Opening Day start in 2016 for the San Diego Padres.
With the Rangers in the mix for the second wild-card spot, the reasons for the move were obvious.
“We’re in a race to get in the playoffs,” Banister said. “The starting rotation is your No. 1 asset. Consistency out of the your starting rotation is a necessity.
“It’s been a challenge for him all year. We felt like Nick has thrown the ball well. He’s thrown the ball well in Oakland.”
Martinez was scratched from his start Thursday for Triple A Round Rock and flew to the Bay Area ahead of the Rangers, who played a late game Thursday to close out a four-game series against the Angels.
Martinez has four straight scoreless starts for Round Rock, though a two-week stint with the Rangers fell in the middle of the run. He allowed eight hits and only one walk over 14 scoreless innings in his past two starts.
He is 3-4 with a 5.38 ERA in 13 starts/16 games this season with the Rangers, but that’s better than the 3-3 record and 7.04 ERA posted in 10 starts by Ross. While the Rangers are 6-4 when he has started, he has put a burden on the bullpen by being unable to pitch deep in games in most outings.