8/2/2013 10:26 P.M. ET
Martin learning in Rangers' leadoff spot
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
OAKLAND -- Leonys Martin was in the leadoff spot Friday night for the fifth straight game. Manager Ron Washington is not ready to name Martin as his permanent leadoff hitter, but he is happy with what he is seeing.
But there is still much to learn, and another teaching moment came in the seventh inning of Thursday's 7-1 victory over the D-backs. Martin came up in the seventh with one out and grounded out on the first pitch he had ever taken from D-backs reliever Tony Sipp.
"You don't want to take away his aggressiveness, but some situations you try to explain to him that's not the right thing to do," Washington said. "He's a guy you've never seen before. You want to see what his pitches are doing. Those are the type of things you have to learn. The pitch has got to be where you want it and be the pitch you were looking for. It's a long process, but he's doing a good job."
Entering Friday, Martin was 6-for-20 with two runs scored and five RBIs in the leadoff spot over the past four games. The Rangers won all four.
E. Beltre optioned, with quick return possible
OAKLAND -- Outfielder Engel Beltre is headed back to Triple-A Round Rock. But for how long?
Beltre was optioned to Round Rock on Friday to make room for infielder Adam Rosales, who was claimed off waivers from the Athletics. Beltre was sent down after hitting .300 (9-for-30) in 13 games.
"Improved ... professional, he really took his opportunity up here very seriously," manager Ron Washington said. "There wasn't a day while he was here that he didn't do something to get better. We just felt we have the outfield covered."
That may change. The Rangers are still awaiting word whether outfielder Nelson Cruz will receive a 50-game suspension because of his dealings with Biogenesis, the Miami wellness clinic that allegedly distributed performance-enhancing drugs to multiple players. They also do not know whether Cruz would appeal his suspension and remain active until that process is completed.
The latest word is that an announcement is coming Monday, although nothing is certain. But if Cruz is suspended and elects not to appeal, the Rangers will have to add another outfielder. It could be Beltre, who hits left-handed. Or it could be Joey Butler, a right-handed hitter who is batting .292 with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs in 94 games at Round Rock. He is hitting .320 with a .420 on-base percentage and a .532 slugging percentage against left-handers.
Jurickson Profar could also see more time in the outfield during Cruz's absence, but Washington said Profar was not the optimal choice.
"I'm not saying you won't see him out there, but don't go to the ballpark looking for it," Washington said. "Profar will not be the solution. I think it would be [Craig] Gentry and whoever else we decide to put out there from our [farm] system."
In the meantime, Beltre will play regularly at Round Rock. He played in just 13 games, including eight starts, since being called up from Round Rock on June 23. Players who are optioned to the Minors have to remain there for at least 10 days. But that rule is waived in case of injury or suspension.
"I had good time and a good experience with the guys," Beltre said. "I waited a long time to be in the Major Leagues ... it was an unbelievable time."
Rangers pick up Rosales from Athletics
OAKLAND -- Adam Rosales said he had never been inside the visiting clubhouse at the O.co Coliseum until Friday afternoon. But that was where he found himself after the Rangers claimed him off waivers from the Athletics.
"I was surprised when they told me what the news was," Rosales said. "I was shocked but happy. I think it's a great opportunity to be on this ballclub contending for a playoff spot. They have a great track record as a contending team and a successful team."
The move dropped him 3 1/2 games in the American League West standings.
"That's all right; we've got a lot of season left," Rosales said. "It's still a good feeling. I'm looking forward to everything this opportunity will bring."
The Rangers acquired Rosales because they wanted another versatile player on the bench. He can play all four infield positions and has appeared in eight games as an outfielder. He joins Jurickson Profar and Jeff Baker in giving the Rangers three players off the bench who can play in the infield or the outfield.
"It just adds another versatile piece to the mix," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "We've always admired how hard he plays the game. He plays with a ton of energy and enthusiasm. He was a Texas Ranger playing for the Oakland Athletics. He finally found his rightful home."
Rangers to gauge timetable for Lewis after start
OAKLAND -- Colby Lewis is scheduled to pitch for Double-A Frisco on Saturday. It will be his fourth start on his latest medical rehabilitation assignment, and he is scheduled to throw 90 pitches.
The Rangers will decide after that outing whether Lewis needs more time in the Minor Leagues or if he will make at least one more start after that. Lewis, who is one year removed from having surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon, will most likely get at least one more start after this, but his 30-day assignment is up Aug. 17.
"We definitely need to huddle after he pitches and see what the next step is," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "Our 12-man staff and our five-man rotation are pitching really well. If you add a pitcher to the mix, you want it to be an upgrade."
Lewis has made 80 starts for the Rangers over the past three years but has not pitched as a reliever since he was with the Athletics in 2007. The Rangers starter with the most bullpen experience is Alexi Ogando, who has started 43 games and made 102 relief appearances over the past four years.
Matt Harrison, who had surgery May 2 to repair a herniated disc, is scheduled to make his second rehab start Sunday for Frisco. He is scheduled to throw approximately 45 pitches. Nick Tepesch, on the disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow, is on the trip with the Rangers, but he is limited to long toss and is not ready to pitch off a mound.
• Lance Berkman, on the disabled list with left-hip inflammation, said Friday his running was "better yesterday than the time before that, but I wasn't pushing it."
• Cruz was pinch-hit for by Craig Gentry in the bottom of the seventh inning during the Rangers' 7-1 victory over the D-backs. Cruz is still feeling some soreness in his left quad muscle after getting hit by a thrown ball Tuesday, but he was in the lineup Friday night.
• The Rangers have placed first baseman Ronald Guzman on the disabled list at Class A Hickory with a broken bone in his right hand. He is ranked the Rangers' No. 6 prospect by MLB.com.
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.