3/19/2013 10:59 P.M. ET
Martin gains US residency in midst of strong spring
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
MESA, Ariz. -- These are heady times for outfielder Leonys Martin. He has gained he US residency, and he is going to be with the Rangers on Opening Day after playing well so far this spring.
Martin returned from Miami on Tuesday, one day after receiving residency in the Unites Sates. Martin is a native of Cuba but left that country in 2010. He had family and friends with him at the ceremony. Due to some confusion, it was initially thought that Martin had gained US citizenship.
"I'm very happy," Martin said. "This gives me piece of mind. I'm so glad it worked out."
Baseball is also working out for Martin. He went into Tuesday's game with the Cubs hitting .359 (14-for-39) for the spring with two doubles, two triples and seven RBIs. He has also played well defensively, and the Rangers are preparing to open the season with him as one of their center fielders.
Right now it appears as if Martin will share the job with Craig Gentry, who has also had a good spring. But Martin has shown enough to prove to doubters that he is ready for the big leagues.
"We're going to have some trials and tribulations," manager Ron Washington said. "But as we move through the season, we expect him to become a consistent professional just like everybody else. He's getting better but he has to keep working, because he doesn't have anything figured out and we're going to make sure he doesn't start thinking he has everything figured out. He's going to become a professional under my watch."
Martin, who signed with the Rangers on May 4, 2011, has played in 24 games for the Rangers over parts of the past two seasons, hitting .204 (11-for-54) with six doubles, two triples and three stolen bases.
He has played in 128 Minor League games, hitting .323 with 101 runs scored, 34 doubles, seven triples, 16 home runs and 84 RBIs. He also has 29 stolen bases, a .388 on-base percentage and a .503 slugging percentage.
Olt optioned to Triple-A so he'll see time every day
MESA, Ariz. -- The Rangers sent third baseman Mike Olt to Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday, so he'll get the chance to play every day. He will continue at third base and right field. Olt came to camp with the chance to make the team as a reserve right-handed bat.
But Jeff Baker, who took a .467 batting average into Tuesday's game with the Cubs, is likely to win that spot. Baker can play first, second, third and both corner outfield spots.
The Rangers also know that with Nelson Cruz and David Murphy eligible for free agency after the season, Olt is their best power-hitting prospect at the upper levels of the Minor Leagues. He should be a candidate to replace one of them in the lineup next year, and they want to make sure he continues his offensive development at Round Rock.
"It's good in that I will get more [at-bats] and get back on track," Olt said. "I view this as a positive. They want me here as an everyday guy, not as a bench guy. So I'll go down, get my [at-bats] and get back on track."
Olt went into Tuesday's game against the Cubs hitting .194 with two home runs and five RBIs. In 31 at-bats he has six walks and 12 strikeouts. But he also played excellent defense at third and showed he could play right field as well. The Rangers liked what they saw from him out there as well.
"He did well. He did extremely well," manager Ron Washington said.
Meek among six pitchers cut by Rangers on Tuesday
MESA, Ariz. -- Reliever Evan Meek was an All-Star for the Pirates in 2010, but he was among six pitchers who were sent to the Minor Leagues on Tuesday. Also sent down were right-handers Wilmer Font, Yoshinori Tateyama and Collin Balester, and left-handers Neal Cotts and Jeff Beliveau.
Meek was sent down with a 10.57 ERA while opponents hit .351 off him. He had been pitching better lately but the Rangers still didn't see enough, especially with his velocity.
"He used to throw 95-96," manager Ron Washington said. "That wasn't there. We like the way he competed, but we made the decision right now that he doesn't fit."
Cotts almost made the Rangers out of spring in 2012 ,but never was able to mount the same serious challenge this time around. He was sent down with a 7.11 ERA and opponents hitting .469 off him.
"I thought he threw the ball with better velocity, he just didn't get results," Washington said.
Neither player has the contractual ability to become a free agent if he does not make a Major League roster by the end of Spring Training, but the Rangers have told Meek that they will not stand in his way if he can find a Major League job.
Adduci making an impression this spring
MESA, Ariz. -- Outfielder Engel Beltre and infielders Brandon Allen and Brandon Snyder were sent to the Minor Leagues on Tuesday. Outfielder James Adduci is still in Major League camp. Adduci, who has spent seven seasons in the Minors, has been a big surprise in camp, taking a .441 batting average (15-for-34) into Tuesday's game with the Cubs. Among his 15 hits are two doubles, three triples and a home run.
"He's still here because he has been impressive," manager Ron Washington said. "We like the things he's doing."
Adduci, 27, is a 6-foot-2 210-pound left-handed hitter who was a 42nd-round pick by the Marlins in 2003. The amateur scout who signed him was Scott Engler, who now works for the Rangers on the professional side. Engler urged the Rangers to sign him this winter when he became a Minor League free agent from the Cubs organization.
He split time last season between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, hitting .298 with 21 doubles, seven home runs and 44 RBIs in 126 games. The doubles, home runs and .419 slugging percentage were all career highs. Despite the appearance of being a big strong athlete, Adduci's speed numbers have always been better than his power numbers. He has 153 career stolen bases and 24 home runs in 2,618 at-bats.
"I feel good at home plate right now. That's all you can ask for," Adduci said. "I'm just trying to go about my business and do everything I can to be ready. I don't know if it's a late bloomer but over time you learn and you get experience. This whole game is a learning process."
Adduci is still a long-shot to make the team, but the Rangers are quietly hoping they might have found a sleeper who can help them in the future.
Darvish's situation shrouded in mystery
MESA. Ariz. -- Yu Darvish remains sidelined with stiffness in his neck, and the Rangers don't know when he'll pitch again. Darvish, who was scratched from Monday's start against the Royals, went through a workout on Tuesday but the results were inconclusive.
The Rangers are off on Wednesday. Darvish is scheduled to throw in the bullpen on Thursday and if that goes well, he could pitch against the Reds on Saturday. Otherwise, the Rangers could pitch him in a Minor League game at some point this week.
Darvish's setback could delay the Rangers' plans for setting their rotation to start the season. Right now, Darvish is slotted as the Rangers No. 2 starter behind Matt Harrison and would make his first start against the Astros on April 2.
Derek Lowe replaced Darvish on Monday and pitched three scoreless innings against the Royals. His next start will be Thursday against the Angels. Harrison was scheduled to start that day, but he'll likely pitch in a Minor League game instead. The Rangers face the Angels in the first week of the season and Harrison is certain to pitch in that series.
• Pitcher Joakim Soria, who is recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, is still throwing in the bullpen and said he is still two weeks away from throwing live batting practice.
• Lance Berkman had no problems playing first base on Monday night against the Royals. He was given the day off on Tuesday against the Cubs.
• Catchers Juan Apodaca and Jose Felix were sent back to the Minor Leagues on Tuesday.
• Catcher Eli Whiteside, who has been sidelined with a strained left calf muscle, caught Derek Holland in a Minor League game on Tuesday.
• The Rangers went into Tuesday's game having committed 10 errors, second fewest in the Majors.
• Joe Nathan pitched two scoreless innings in a Minor League game between Class A Myrtle Beach and a Padres affiliate. He allowed a hit and four strikeouts while throwing 35 pitches.
• Holland pitched 4 2/3 innings for Triple-A Round Rock against Tucson at the Padres camp on Tuesday, allowing five runs on nine hits. He walked two, struck out three and threw 88 pitches.
• The Rangers sent outfielder Aaron Cunningham to the Minor League camp after their 5-4 loss to the Cubs. The Rangers now have 45 in camp.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.