6/26/2013 8:04 P.M. ET
Martin buoyed by Rangers' confidence in him
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Leonys Martin said the Rangers' confidence in letting him play every day is the underlying reason why he has caught fire at the plate.
"I feel confident because someone else has confidence in me," Martin said. "That's probably why I'm playing so well -- other people have confidence in me. It's a good feeling."
Martin went into Wednesday's game with a 10-game hitting streak and 15 hits in his last 34 at-bats. In 47 games since the beginning of May, Martin is hitting .304 with a .353 on-base percentage and a .496 slugging percentage. He hit two home runs against the Yankees on Tuesday night.
"He's just a good hitter and a good fastball hitter," Yankees catcher Chris Stewart said. "He laid off a couple close pitches and got himself back into the count. Tried to sneak a fastball inside and he got to that one. Hung a slider away and he got that one, too. Just tip your hat to him, he's a good hitter. Hopefully, we'll make a little better pitches and get him out."
Martin started the season platooning with Craig Gentry in center. But Wednesday marked the 14th straight game Martin has been in the starting lineup. Manager Ron Washington said last week that Martin was going to get a chance to play regularly, but the Rangers have no other option with Gentry on the disabled list because of a fractured left hand. Gentry won't be back until after the All-Star break.
"I think the fact that he's getting more consistent at-bats has worked out well," Washington said. "We started playing him regularly at a time we were facing a ton of right-handers and that helped get him get in a groove. Because he was going good, he got some hits off left-handers. The guy has always hit everybody. Hopefully, he can keep this up. This is what the organization says he can do."
Adjustments could be on tap for Darvish
NEW YORK -- Whatever Yu Darvish is doing, it's not working, and manager Ron Washington said it's time for a change. Washington didn't say if it was pitch selection, a mechanical adjustment or Darvish's overall approach, but the manager strongly suggested it's time for some adjustments.
"He's going to have to change his way of doing things," Washington said. "I'm not taking away from him being Darvish, but he might need to change some things. We'll talk to him about some things and see where we go from there. But I'm not ready to reveal what that might be just yet. But it will be some suggestions and if it helps him, it helps him."
Darvish has not earned a victory since May 16 against Detroit and is 0-2 with a 2.98 ERA in his last seven starts. The Rangers have lost six of those seven starts, and Darvish has also allowed eight runs in 11 1/3 innings in his last two starts.
"When he goes out there, he still believes in himself and what he would like to do," Washington said. "He has been pretty good at making adjustments -- right now he needs to make another adjustment. You go back and forth in this game. The good teams make adjustments quickly, and you have to be able to adjust, too."
Despite his recent struggles, opponents are hitting just .191 off him, the lowest batting average against in the American League. He also still leads the AL with 143 strikeouts and 12.07 strikeouts per nine innings.
Profar working in outfield, but not ready to play there
NEW YORK -- Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar put in 30 more minutes of outfield work with third-base coach Gary Pettis early Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Profar is progressing but the Rangers aren't ready to put him in the outfield, and the situation on Wednesday was a reminder of why the Rangers are actively searching for a right-handed bat.
"Gary said he's progressing but he's not ready to go out there and run down the baseball," Washington said. "We're going on Gary's timetable."
Wednesday would have been a good day for Profar to be ready. The Rangers went up against left-hander Andy Pettitte, who went into the game holding left-handed hitters to a .141 batting average. Among starting pitchers, that was the second-lowest average in the league.
Profar is a switch-hitter and the Rangers could have used another right-handed outfield bat in the lineup. Instead, two of their three outfielders -- David Murphy and the red-hot Leonys Martin -- are left-handed hitters.
Murphy entered the game hitting .233 off left-handers, although he was 4-for-11 off Pettitte in his career. Martin, who was riding a 10-game hitting streak, entered Wednesday hitting .226 off left-handers. He had never faced Pettitte before this.
Craig Gentry gives the Rangers another right-handed bat for the outfield, but he is on the disabled list with a fractured left hand. To replace him, the Rangers called up Engel Beltre from Triple-A Round Rock. Beltre is another left-handed hitter who has yet to make his Major League debut.
Ogando throws bullpen session, still not 100 percent
NEW YORK -- Alexi Ogando, on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder, came out of Tuesday's bullpen session without any problems and is scheduled for another one either Thursday or Friday. But Ogando said he is still not 100 percent.
"It's getting better but it's not there yet," Ogando said. "It's probably about 85 percent."
Ogando will be reevaluated after his next bullpen session, but it appears that he may not return until after the All-Star break. Ogando may need more side sessions and at least one batting practice session before he goes on a medical rehabilitation assignment.
The Rangers will also likely want Ogando to make at least two starts in the Minors. If Ogando doesn't return until after the All-Star break, the Rangers will have less than two weeks to evaluate their starting rotation before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Rookie right-hander Justin Grimm started for the Rangers on Wednesday. It was the 30th start by a rookie for the Rangers this season, the most for any team in the Major Leagues.
• The Rangers are headed for another meeting with the Mariners' two best pitchers during their three-game series that starts on Tuesday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Both Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma are scheduled to pitch in that series. Right now the Mariners are lined up to have Joe Saunders, Hernandez and Iwakuma pitch in that series. But the Mariners are off on Thursday and Monday. That gives them a chance to move up Hernandez to Tuesday and Iwakuma to Wednesday if manager Eric Wedge wants to skip Saunders, who is 5-8 with a 4.98 ERA.
• Mitch Moreland was disappointed to see Mississippi State get knocked out by UCLA in the finals of the College World Series. Moreland played for Mississippi State in the 2007 CWS and said, "Yeah, I'm disappointed, but they had a great run. This is the farthest the school has ever made it, and we've had some pretty good teams there. I'm proud of them."
• Neal Cotts, going into Wednesday, has pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings with nine strikeouts in his last five games.
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.