The Rangers optioned right-hander Chris Martin to Triple-A Round Rock before Tuesday's game against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park.
The move was made to make room for first baseman Ronald Guzman, who came out of MLB's concussion protocol and was in the Rangers' lineup. Rangers manager Jeff Banister said the move had nothing to do with Martin's performance. It has more to do with making sure the bench options remain ample with Joey Gallo, Adrian Beltre, Shin-Soo Choo and Nomar Mazara all contending with minor leg issues.
"We’re still nursing some guys with some minor injuries position player-wise," he said. "Chris hasn’t done anything to warrant being optioned out. Obviously, he has pitched well for us in the bullpen. It’s not necessarily the move that is optimum at this time, however you have to be able to protect some of the other players on the team too."
Martin, who attended Arlington high School, has a 4.13 ERA in 24 relief innings for Texas. He threw a perfect inning on Saturday but allowed two earned runs on three hits in a 1/3 of an inning on June 27 after four previous scoreless relief appearances.
Round Rock has five days before the Triple-A All-Star break and Martin could return in less than 10 days if the Rangers had to move another player to the disabled list. It also helps the Rangers retain outfielder Carlos Tocci. Tocci was acquired from the Astros in the Rule 5 Draft and per MLB rules must remain active on the team's 25-man roster for a minimum of 90 days. If the Rangers wanted, they could put Tocci on the disabled list after he's been active for his 60th day of the season, which would be Saturday in Detroit. He could be activated again when MLB rosters are expanded on September 1 and retain his 90-day Rule 5 qualifications.
"There are times you have to make decisions for the entire 25, but they’re not always popular decisions," Banister said.
Guzman was kneed in the head on a pick-of attempt at third base during a game on June 25.