DETROIT, MI - MAY 22: Leonys Martin #2 of the Texas Rangers smiles after swinging for a strike against utility infielder Danny Worth of the Detroit Tigers in the ninth inning at Comerica Park on May 22, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. Martin eventually struck out against Worth. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
The Rangers waltzed into Seattle, managed only six runs over the weekend and somehow sneaked out of town with two wins. But, alas, they’re still searching for a lead-off hitter.
With the desired lineup long ago scrapped because of numerous, serious injuries, Shin-Soo Choo now is forced to bat third, leaving the Rangers without a proven table-setter.
Friday night against the Mariners, manager Ron Washington actually put his designated hitter – Michael Choice – in the No. 1 hole before giving Leonys Martin a try the last two games of the series.
The results? Not bad.
Martin, with an on-base percentage of only .315 on the season, went 3 for 8, got on base four times and knocked in the winning run Saturday night. He might move back down the order when the Rangers face two lefties in the first two games against the Oakland A’s, but should get more chance to lead off the rest of the season.
Martin has the skill set to bat in the one hole. He can hit to all fields, bunt for a hit and steal a base. Just needs to work on his patience in taking pitches, or at least being more selective at the one he hacks at.
He’s not perfect by any means. But at this point he’s the Rangers’ best option.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.