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Martin, Olt Optioned Down

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It appears the race for the starting gig in center field was cleared up a bit over the weekend when the Texas Rangers sent Cuban import Leonys Martin to the minors.

    Martin's demotion to Triple-A Round Rock wasn't much of a surprise, though it was thought earlier in the offseason that he might make a push to make the Opening Day roster. The move means the centerfielder job will be left up to Julio Borbon and Craig Gentry, meaning Borbon would probably be the slight favorite, speaking more of Gentry than Borbon.

    Martin's play hasn't suffered this spring, that's not why he's going down. It's just more productive for a guy like him to play every day at Double-A or Triple-A. It'd be shocking if he didn't get called up at some point this season.

    "He needs to play and the innings are getting to be few and far between now," manager Ron Washington told ESPN Dallas. "He's a young kid that needs to play baseball. He's a very impressive kid. He needs to play and continue to develop his skills."

    In other moves, the Rangers sent third baseman Mike Olt to Double-A Frisco, where he will instantly play a lot and likely become a key player for the Rough Riders. Olt tore up the Arizona Fall League but simply fell victim to a positional road block with Adrian Beltre manning third base for the foreseeable future in Arlington.

    Olt has been working at first base this spring, along with third, and will continue to see work at first base in Frisco.

    "He's a baseball player," Washington said. "He can play third base. He has good action and tremendous raw power, but he hasn't played a whole lot of baseball. He's a very solid defensive player and has impressed us with his bat."