8/14/2013 8:50 P.M. ET
Martin's season continues to trend upward
By Master Tesfatsion / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Leonys Martin has improved significantly this season, particularly on the basepaths. He became the first Texas player with three or more stolen bases in consecutive games last week against the Angels, but he's been caught stealing in his last three attempts.
Martin, along with Jurickson Profar, worked on his baserunning with third-base coach Gary Pettis during batting practice on Wednesday.
"I need to be more patient with myself," Martin said through an interpreter. "I need to be more calm when I try to steal."
Rangers manager Ron Washington doesn't feel Martin, who had 16 consecutive successful stolen base attempts this season, has been anxious on the bags. He gave credit to the catchers on Martin's last two stolen base attempts for great throws to second base.
"That's what it's going to take to throw that kind of guy out, real good throws," Washington said. "He's not getting overanxious."
Martin has seen his role increase throughout the season from an outfielder sharing time in center field, to an everyday starter and now the leadoff hitter. Entering Wednesday's game, he was hitting .292 (19-65) with a home run, 10 RBIs and seven stolen bases in 15 games at leadoff. Washington said Martin has learned to take pitches at the top of the order, but he's still learning in his new role.
"Sometimes he takes pitches I wish he would've swung, but I'm not going to hit him with that because we're trying to get him comfortable and figuring it out for himself," Washington said. "... He'll learn, but I'm not saying anything to him, because he's trying. He'll figure it out, along with people in his ear, he'll figure out."
Harrison frustrated by persistent back issue
ARLINGTON -- Left-hander Matt Harrison could best describe his 2013 season as forgettable. He started just two games this year due to a back problem that carried into his rehab start on Friday. The Rangers decided to shut him down for the season on Tuesday.
"It's just more frustrating than anything," Harrison said. "I'm not mad, because I know I did more than anything to get back. I felt like I was 100 percent, but I guess my back wasn't really ready for game speed."
Harrison said he couldn't feel the problem on the mound due to adrenaline, but he noticed he was dropping his back side on film. He said the issue was similar in his only two starts this season, leading to Harrison's second surgery to repair a herniated disk.
"It started getting weak again and now my leg a little bit," Harrison said. "It started contributing to other parts of my body."
There's no surgical damage in Harrison's back, nor structural damage in his arm. Harrison will not touch a ball for three weeks, but he will continue conditioning in the meantime.
"It's been rough," Harrison said. "At this point, I'm just trying to clear my head and do as much as I can to rehab and try to get this back strengthened up for a healthy 2014."
Daniels hopes to get Tepesch back in early September
ARLINGTON -- Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Tuesday he's hopeful to get right-hander Nick Tepesch back around early September, but Tepesch doesn't have a timeline set on when he expects to return.
"I'm just trying to get on the mound again right now," Tepesch said.
Tepesch started throwing from 120 feet a week ago, and he said his arm feels good. He was placed on the disabled list on July 7 with right elbow inflammation.
If he can return, Tepesch would be a possible backup starting rotation option for the Rangers with the losses of Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis this month. The club acquired left-handed pitcher Travis Blackley from the Astros as another possible option when the rosters expand in September.
"[Blackley's] been a big league starter, and he's had some success," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's certainly had some success against us. The way our starting pitchers have been dropping, we were very lucky to get a guy like that. Hopefully, he can pay dividends for us."
• Class A Advanced right-hander Alec Asher was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week. He pitched a career-best eight scoreless innings Sunday in a win. He's 4-3 with a 3.35 ERA in nine starts this season.
• Catcher Zach Zaneski has promoted to Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday. He's been with Double-A Frisco for the last two seasons. He hit .191 with five home runs and 19 RBIs in 45 games this season.
• The Rangers hosted Japan America Friendship Night on Wednesday. Kenchiro Sase, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States, was at the game and threw out the first pitch.
Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.