8/13/2014 2:27 A.M. ET
Martin rebounds with first four-hit game
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers were hoping to see second-half improvement from center fielder Leonys Martin. They saw something on Tuesday night when he had his first four-hit game of his career in a 3-2 victory over the Rays.
"He swung at strikes tonight," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "That's what we have been talking about."
The Rangers want to see more of that. Martin went into Tuesday's game against the Rays with just one hit in his previous 21 at-bats and batting .111 in his last 16 games. Washington said Martin is just being over-aggressive at the plate and showing poor pitch selection.
"He's got to make adjustments," Washington said. "He has been slow at making adjustments. Swing at better pitches and don't try to do too much. Once failure sets in, you start to panic. When you don't have a whole lot of experience to fall back on, you start to panic.
"He's panicking right now. If he could slow it down, he'll be all right. Leonys has always had a big swing and has never had to make an adjustment. Now he has to make an adjustment."
Going into Tuesday's game, Martin had swung at 51.6 percent of pitches thrown to him. That was the 14th highest ratio among 110 qualifying hitters in the American League. Last year he was at 50.2 so his aggressiveness has increased slightly over last season rather than becoming more selective.
"All I can do is keeping working hard and stay mentally strong, concentrate on every single at-bat," Martin said. "This season has gone bad for everybody. A lot of things haven't gone well. Everybody is trying to cope as best they can."
Last year was Martin's first full-season in the Majors and he hit .260 with a .313 on-base percentage and a .385 slugging percentage. As of Tuesday he was hitting .249 with a .307 on-base percentage and a .349 slugging percentage.
"Some guys pick it up right away, some guys take longer and some guys never pick it up," Washington said. "Leonys is not going to be one of those guys who never picks it up. It's just taking him a little longer."
Scheppers will join bullpen upon return in 2015
ARLINGTON -- Tanner Scheppers, who will miss the rest of the season because of elbow inflammation, is going back to the bullpen in 2015.
Scheppers, who was the Opening Day starter, said he and the club have already decided that the bullpen is the best way to go, at least for next season.
"I still want to be a starter, but right now I'm a reliever," Scheppers said. "Everybody agrees that's best for the organization. At this point I just want to play again."
Scheppers was a reliever in his first two seasons in the Major Leagues before being switched to the rotation in Spring Training. He made four starts before developing elbow inflammation. He was on the disabled list from April 18 to June 5, came back for a week as a reliever and then went back on the DL with more elbow problems. He hasn't thrown since.
"Once it happened again, we wanted to take a more precautionary route instead of rushing back," Scheppers said. "It's definitely disappointing but we have to take care of what we have to take care of."
Scheppers is hoping to be able to throw off a mound by the end of the season and possibly make one or two appearances in instructional league. If Scheppers does that, he can have a normal offseason in preparing for Spring Training.
Rios expected to return to lineup Wednesday
ARLINGTON -- Outfielder Alex Rios was out of the lineup for a second straight game on Tuesday with a sprained right ankle, but there is a good possibility of being back in the lineup on Wednesday. Manager Ron Washington just isn't sure if it will be at designated hitter or right field.
Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is also dealing with a sprained left ankle and has been shuttling between the outfield and DH to keep it as strong as possible. The Rangers recognize Choo won't be at full strength the rest of the season and Rios is bracing for the same possibility.
"Since I'm going to be standing on my feet every day, it's something I'll have to deal with the rest of the year," Rios said. "I just have to go day by day and see how it feels."
Said Washington, "It all depends on Alex. I'll probably give him some DH days."
• Catcher Chris Gimenez has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Round Rock.
• Double-A Frisco starter Alex Gonzalez was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week for Aug. 4-10, after winning both of his starts.
• Scott Baker has started four games and finished 12. The last Rangers pitcher to do both was Kameron Loe, who had eight starts and finished 13 in 2005.
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.