ST PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 04: Leonys Martin #27 of the Texas Rangers gestures from the dugout while taking on the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Four of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 4, 2011 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Bad news from Evan Grant:
Leonys Martin out 6-8 weeks with torn thumb ligament— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) May 2, 2012
The Rangers' outfield depth is even more significant than for most teams, because of the injury histories of Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, and Craig Gentry. Hamilton, of course, has missed the last three games with a back injury, and Gentry looked like he might be heading to the disabled list after an ill-advised crash into the wall yesterday.
As of today, the minor league outfielders on the 40 man roster are Martin, Julio Borbon, and Engel Beltre. Martin is out of the mix for the next two months and Beltre isn't near ready to be in the major leagues. That leaves Borbon, who isn't hitting well at AAA and who seems to have convinced the coaching staff he shouldn't be on a major league roster anyway, as the lone viable option on the 40 man.
Aside from Borbon, Round Rock also has 26 year old outfielder Joey Butler on its roster, and Butler has put up nice numbers in 2011 and 2012, but he's also someone whose contact issues mean that he's not likely to hit much and the majors, and I don't believe his defense is viewed as anything special.
Brad Hawpe is, of course, in AA as potential depth, but he isn't a good outfielder and hasn't hit much the last few years in the majors.
So at this point, the Rangers are going to have to hope that Hamilton, Cruz and Gentry can stay on the field, or else the Rangers are going to be scouring the rest of the league for another outfielder.