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Martin First Casualty of Hamilton's Return

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 25: Leonys Martin #2 of the Texas Rangers reacts after being picked off at second base in the third inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 25, 2015 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

    In the weeks leading up to Josh Hamilton's Rangers debut — or second Rangers debut — the big question was who would take the fall and be sent down to the minors.

    As things worked out, the Rangers were able to put demoted closer Neftali Feliz on the disabled list to make room on the roster for Hamilton, but there was still a question of who would play in the outfield and who would sit.

    The answer? At least for one day, anyway, was Leonys Martin was on the bench while the red-hot spark plug known as Delino DeShields was hitting leadoff and starting in center field, while Hamilton started in left field and Shin-Soo Choo was in his customary spot in right field.

    While Jeff Banister told reporters after the game that Martin — a far better defensive center fielder than DeShields — would still be key part of the Rangers' outfield picture and still get plenty of playing time, but the starting lineup on Monday told us a lot.

    The Indians were starting right-handed pitcher Shaun Marcum, and Martin is much better offensively against righties than lefties, although he hasn't been good against anyone this year. You'd think if there was going to be a platoon in center, it'd be DeShields against lefties and Martin against righties, but quite frankly at this point, DeShields is too hot and too much of a spark to the offense to sit right now.

    You might be looking at a deal with DeShields starts until he cools off, and Martin even enters the game late as a defensive replacement, but for now, the Rangers' outfield has more capable bodies than open spots.