DENVER Another day, another new No. 2 hitter for the Texas Rangers, who continue to search for a player who can be productive high in the batting order while Elvis Andrus gets sorted out at the bottom.
Leonys Martin on Tuesday became the third different player in three games to rotate into the spot following Daniel Robertson and Josh Wilson. But manager Ron Washington put Martin there begrudgingly.
“I was very hesitant about moving Leonys,” Washington said. “He’s doing well where he is, but we’re going to see if we can get some offense in the top of the order.
“He’s a slasher. He’s not an on-base percentage guy. Until he fully learns what he’s capable of doing and how to go about doing it, I’ll try to protect him.”
Martin might only bat second for one game, Washington said, even though he has made strides doing the things Washington wants from a No. 2 hitter. The ideal candidate can bunt and hit-and-run, things that Washington believes the Rangers need.
He also doesn’t want a lineup that doesn’t have a threat sitting behind No. 4 hitter Prince Fielder.
“If I had a lineup where I could take a big bat and put it in the second hole and I had a No. 4 hitter that would still be protect, maybe that’s something you would think about,” Washington said. “I try to construct a lineup so it can function. Functioning for me is when a situation presents itself on the field, I can put something on and make it happen.”
Rangers lineup vs. RHP Juan Nicasio: Shin-Soo Choo, lf; Leonys Martin, cf; Adrian Beltre, 3b; Prince Fielder, 1b; Alex Rios, rf; Donnie Murphy, 2b; J.P. Arencibia, c; Elvis Andrus, ss; Robbie Ross, p.
Rockies lineup vs. LHP Robbie Ross: Charlie Blackmon, rf; Drew Stubbs, cf; Troy Tulowitzki, ss; Carlos Gonzalez, lf; Nolan Arenado, 3b; Justin Morneau, 1b; Charlie Culberson, 2b; Jordan Pacheco, c; Juan Nicasio, p.