Nick Martinez is one of several story lines worth following in the 2014 edition of the Texas Rangers, even if the season is already a lost one with the Rangers sitting in last place in the AL West and well out of any thoughts of playoff contention.
Martinez, a soon-to-be 24-year-old righty, had made just five starts above the Class-A level heading into this season but was thrust into the starting rotation over guys like Nick Tepesch when Yu Darvish was forced to the DL to start the season with neck stiffness.
After an on-again, off-again spot in the Rangers' rotation turned into a full-time gig, Martinez is now set to return from a DL stint of his own on Tuesday night as the young righty has missed the past 15 days with muscle soreness in his side.
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Martinez has shown flashes of promise this season, most notably back on June 21 when he took a perfect game into the sixth inning and ended up working seven innings in a loss to the Angels. He's shown the demeanor necessary to be a starting pitcher and the Rangers seem to like his potential.
On Tuesday, he'll begin the second part of his season with hopes of furthering the Rangers' confidence in him and to improve on his numbers, which are a lowly 1-6 record with a 5.10 ERA. He's got a pretty solid shot to be in the Rangers' pitching picture in 2015 and a good second half could solidify that.