ARLINGTON -- On Aug. 28, 2010, Leonys Martin defected from Cuba and fled to Mexico. He played in the Cuban National League and decided to pursue his dream of playing in the Major Leagues.
He had secretly watched Major League Baseball on television in Cuba and wanted to be there himself. On Tuesday, that dream came true when Martin joined the Rangers to replace Nelson Cruz, who has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
"This is a great opportunity the team has given me," Martin said before the Rangers' game with the Rays. "I feel sad about what has happened to Nelson, but I have a chance and an opportunity to get to play. This has been very quick, but I have a chance and an opportunity to get to play."
Martin gives the Rangers four left-handed-hitting outfielders. The others are Josh Hamilton, Endy Chavez and David Murphy. Craig Gentry, who has been platooning in center with Chavez, is the only right-handed hitter in the outfield.
Chavez and Martin are similar players in that they are both left-handed hitters who rely on speed more than power and can both cover ground in center field. The big difference is Chavez's experience and success at the Major League level.
Chavez was in center field on Tuesday against Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson. Manager Ron Washington isn't sure when he'll be able to get Martin in a game.
"We're going to give him an opportunity, when it comes and where it comes, I don't know," Washington said. "I'll just try to pick and choose when I'm going to use him out there."
Martin was an amateur free agent after leaving Cuba and agreed to a five-year, $15.5 million contract in May. He batted .295 with four home runs, 16 doubles, five triples and 42 RBIs in 73 Minor League games before being called up on Tuesday. He also had 19 stolen bases, and his best asset at this point may be giving the Rangers speed off the bench.
Rangers add Hamburger for injured O'Day
ARLINGTON -- Right-handed reliever Mark Hamburger, who was acquired three years ago from the Twins for reliever Eddie Guardado, was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday and Darren O'Day was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Hamburger was 7-4 with a 3.88 ERA in 27 relief appearances and four starts for Round Rock. With Scott Feldman making a spot start for the Rangers on Tuesday, they wanted to make sure they had a long reliever behind him.
"We needed some length, and he can give it to us," manager Ron Washington said. "He can get outs, he can spin the ball and as the season has progressed, his velocity has jumped. He can throw strikes. For a long guy, that's what we need, and he's the one that has been getting it done. We saw him in Spring Training and he wasn't afraid."
Hamburger was not on the 40-man roster. To make room, the Rangers released pitcher Ryan Tucker. Hamburger was at the Ballpark early on Tuesday for his first day in a Major League uniform.
"This means everything. ... It's a life goal just to walk into this place, a dream come true," Hamburger said. "I have never been in this stadium before. When I walked down the walkway to the field, I was overwhelmed. I'm more excited than anything and ready to pitch."
O'Day was placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder. He has already missed two months early in the season because of surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip.
"It got sore when I was in Triple-A last Sunday," O'Day said. "I threw two innings, 40 pitches and it was sore the next couple days. I came up here on Wednesday and threw two more innings. I would guess that's when that happened. Yeah, it is [frustrating]. What more is there to say? Yeah, I don't want to be on the DL, two days before September, or at any time, for that matter. Yeah, it's disappointing."
Beltre gets one hit in second rehab game
ARLINGTON -- Adrian Beltre went 1-for-4 with a strikeout in his second game at Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday.On the strikeout, however, Beltre reached first on a wild pitch. He also recorded six assists on ground balls to third base. Beltre went down with a strained left hamstring on July 22. So far in the rehab stint, Beltre is 2-for-8 with three strikeouts. Andres Blanco, who also began a rehab stint of his own on Monday, went 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Wilson follows Mavericks into cryotherapy
ARLINGTON -- C.J. Wilson is taking a page from the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. After Wilson saw an article detailing the Mavs' use of cryotherapy, Wilson decided he would give it a try.
"I'll try whatever, if I can get one percent better, it's worth it at this point," Wilson said.
Cryotherapy is a process that exposes the person in the specially made chamber to extreme cold temperatures, which causes the body to rush blood back to the core. It is believed to increase energy and shorten recovery time.
"Your brain reads that cold symbol in your skin and starts pulling all your blood out of your limbs and putting it in your core. It's a hyperdermic response," Wilson said. "It's supposed to reinvigorate and re-oxygenate your blood, so after you step out of the chamber after two minutes, it all rushes back in there."
Wilson said the Millenium ICE, which is where both Wilson and the Mavericks went for treatment, has a board for users that were able to withstand temperatures below minus 300 Fahrenheit. Wilson said he reached minus 290 Fahrenheit on Tuesday, and he expects to break the record in his next session.
"The first time I did it, it was like standing in your underwear in a cold day in Dallas, your first blast" Wilson said. "By the third blast, I was like 'OK, you're standing on top of Mount Everest with no clothes on. This is brutal.'"
Injury opens up more playing time for Murphy
ARLINGTON -- David Murphy was back in the lineup on Tuesday for the fourth straight game. With Nelson Cruz on the disabled list, Murphy figures to get increased playing time in the outfield, like he did last September when Josh Hamilton was sidelined for most of the month with fractured ribs.
"Murphy will be out there," manager Ron Washington said. "He knows he needs to get going. This will be a chance to get him some at-bats."
Murphy had it going against the Angels over the weekend, going 5-for-12 with a double and two runs. His seventh-inning double against Angels pitcher Jered Weaver on Sunday sparked the Rangers four-run rally.
"Very encouraging," Murphy said. "It's pretty easy to say that was the best weekend of my season. But consistency is the key. I found my swing. I don't know if it was any one key or things just came together. I've been trying to figure things out in the cage and batting practice, but the easiest thing is, things finally came together."
The Rangers are still short offensively on the right-handed side. They are still hoping to get Adrian Beltre back off the disabled list on Thursday. He was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts on medical rehab assignment for Triple-A Round Rock on Monday and will likely play two more games there before being activated.
The Rangers' best right-handed bat at Triple-A is Chad Tracy, who is hitting .253 with 23 home runs and 103 RBIs. But he is only hitting .217 with a .441 slugging percentage against left-handed pitching and that may have worked against him when the Rangers looked for a replacement for Cruz.
Berkman not interested in being traded to Texas
ARLINGTON -- Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman told St. Louis reporters Tuesday the Rangers expressed interest in him, but he does not want to be traded. He also said Cardinals have no interest in trading him and want to re-sign him instead.
"I'm not going to get moved," he said. " I think the ship has sailed. I really do."
Berkman was asked by Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak if he was interested in going to Texas. Berkman told him no.
"I don't want to be moved. I don't think they want to move me. Obviously Mo has an obligation as the general manager to listen to any [offers]. But certainly I think both sides, myself and the Cardinals, we're on the same page with this.
"The only way I'd be open to it would be ... I'd like to play next year, and this is obviously a place that, I want to play here next year. So the only way that I would be open to it is if they came to me and said, 'We're not interested in bringing you back next year.'"
Class A Hickory shortstop Jurickson Profar was named the South Atlantic League's Most Valuable Player on Tuesday. He entered Tuesday's doubleheader batting .285 with 11 homers and 61 RBIs in 109 games for Hickory. He has more walks (64) than strikeouts (61) on the season.
Ian Kinsler, with another steal on Sunday, has been successful on his last 21 consecutive steals. That is already the longest streak in Rangers history for a single season. But over multiple seasons, Kinsler is two short of a record he set from 2007-2008.
Eight Rangers Minor Leaguers will play in the Arizona Fall League, which starts on Oct. 4. Right-hander Neil Ramirez, left-hander Miguel De Los Santos, right-hander Ryan Kelly, right-hander Johan Yan, third baseman Mike Olt, infielder Leury Garcia, outfielder Ryan Strausborger and catcher Elio Sarmiento will all play for the Surprise Saguaros.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.