ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 28: Nick Martinez #22 of the Texas Rangers throws in the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 28, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
Nick Martinez should be in Frisco right now, starting every fifth day and waiting for the next opportunity for a spot start to come along.
Instead, due to injuries and uncertainty in the Texas Rangers' bullpen, the young righty is being kept around in the Rangers' bullpen. On Monday night with Yu Darvish on the hill, the Rangers hoped they wouldn't need the likes of Martinez as a long relief man. Instead, Darvish lasted just 3 1/3 innings, and after Aaron Poreda got the final two outs of the fourth inning, Martinez took over and never left.
Martinez tossed five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and keeping the Rangers within striking distance, albeit to no avail.
The biggest thing Martinez did was keep Ron Washington from having to burn his bullpen in the first game of a three-game series against their fiercest division rival. In fact, Martinez was arguably the MVP of the game for the Rangers, as he kept everyone but himself fresh and available for the next two games before Thursday's scheduled off-day.
Of course, if Martin Perez goes out Tuesday night and does what we've become accustomed to, the bullpen won't be needed much in that game either.