ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 5: Catcher Robinson Chirinos #61 of the Texas Rangers looks on as pitching coach Mike Maddux comes in to speak with pitcher Nick Martinez #22 after he walked James Loney of the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning of a game on April 5, 2014 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Nick Martinez's stint in the Texas Rangers' starting rotation lasted about as long as everyone expected it to — exactly one start. But it wasn't for a lack of effort and performance on Martinez's part.
The Rangers' righty started on Saturday night in Tampa opposite Rays ace David Price and outperformed the perrenial Cy Young candidate, leaving the game with a 4-3 lead that was later lost by the Rangers' bullpen.
On Sunday, he was promptly sent back to Double-A Frisco, where he has five career starts, to be a part of the Rough Riders' rotation.
“He has pitchability and he showed that last night,” Washington told reporters after the game. “He’s going to pitch for the Texas Rangers for a long time. We know who Nick Martinez is. Don’t read anything much into him going back to the minors right now."
Martinez was sent down to make room for Yu Darvish on the 25-man roster, as the Rangers' ace made his season debut in dazzling fashion on Sunday to help the Rangers salvage a win in Tampa before heading to Boston.
Martinez was the first Rangers starter to turn in a quality start, and the first to pitch into the sixth inning this season. He did exactly what Washington wants all of his starters to do, which is to allow his team a chance to win.
“He showed poise out there. He didn’t get rattled," Washington said. "That’s a tough team to pitch against and guys made adjustments from pitch to pitch and at-bat to at-bat. And he still left the game with a chance to win.”