OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 22: Nick Martinez #22 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the first inning at O.co Coliseum on April 22, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Nick Martinez clearly has a bright future with the Texas Rangers.
The 23-year-old righty was on no one's radar in March to end up anywhere close to sniffing the Rangers' rotation this season. After all, he was a college shortstop who had just five games of experience above the Class-A level prior to this year. But Martinez clearly showed something, because he was the first choice of a minor-league call-up, ahead of guys like Luke Jackson and especially the battle-tested Nick Tepesch.
He struggled in Tuesday's game against the Oakland A's, but pitched well enough and got out of enough jams to keep the Rangers in the game and take a no-decision in the team's ninth-inning win. With Matt Harrison set to rejoin the Rangers' rotation for the first time in over a year, Martinez could be sent down to the minors and wait for the next spot start opportunity.
"He did a heck of a job," manager Ron Washington said after that Tuesday night outing. "He really could have come unraveled. They made him work, but he did what he had to do."
With Pedro Figueroa's injury and Hector Noesi's release, the Rangers have no long man in their rotation. And with Joe Saunders still on the disabled list, Martinez could be a logical fit in the Rangers' bullpen.