Leonys Martin has arrived in Arlington.
No, no one has been traded or sent to the minors. There's no injury nor any highly ineffective outfielder being sent to the bench. Martin is in town for a two-day tutorial with Rangers coaches before heading back to Round Rock.
He worked on his base running Tuesday with first-base coach Gary Pettis, a pretty good basestealer back in the day. Wednesday is all about defense with Pettis, a former center fielder, helping out once again.
The team said that the lessons aren't based on any glaring deficiencies in Martin's game. They just want to refine his skills to help him progress toward the big leagues.
Speaking of which, Ron Washington said that the drills weren't meant to get Martin ready to play for the Rangers in 2011. There's no doubt that getting a glimpse at big league life and the skills needed to move up are a valuable part of Martin's development, but you do have to wonder if there isn't more at work here.
Martin didn't go to spring training with the team and he's only been with the organization a short while. Washington, Pettis and everyone else are getting their first taste of what his game is all about, something they certainly need to figure out if he can be helpful to them sooner than expected. Carlos Beltran isn't coming to town, so the Rangers might find themselves looking elsewhere for outfield help in the days, weeks and months to come.
Martin has cooled off a bit after making the jump from Double-A to Triple-A after Julio Borbon's injury. He's hitting .317 with Round Rock, but has just two extra-base hits after posting a 1007 OPS during his time with Frisco. Still, if he can prove he can play the position while offering the team a boost on the basepaths there might be a spot for him with the big boys before the year is out.
Until then, keep practicing.