Nick Martinez, Texas Rangers #5 starter

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Martinez will open the 2014 campaign as the Rangers' #5 starter

Nick Martinez, #5 Starting Pitcher:  23 year old righthander Nick Martinez will be the Texas Rangers' #5 starter as of Opening Day.

For those who aren't familiar with Nick Martinez, I'd recommend you read the following:

Nick Martinez Scouting Report (from my write-ups of the Top 31 LSB Community Prospects this offseason)

Q&A Tepid did with Nick Martinez in February, 2013.

Kate Morrison's write-up on Nick Martinez from January, 2014.

The full rotation to start the season will be Tanner Scheppers, Martin Perez, Robbie Ross, Joe Saunders, and Martinez, and as we've discussed, Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis are expected to be back in the rotation fairly quickly.  Darvish and Lewis may only miss a single start apiece, so Martinez could get bumped for one of those two pitchers after just one outing.  Also, Scott Baker has signed a minor league deal, so Baker could end up replacing Martinez.

While I don't expect Martinez to spend a lengthy amount of time in the Rangers' rotation, I didn't expect Nick Tepesch to spend much time in the Rangers' rotation last year, and Tepesch ended up starting 17 major league games last year.  Martinez only has 32 innings above high-A ball, but in those 32 innings, he put up a 1.12 ERA for AA Frisco last season, and has been generally seen to be a pitcher who was on the rise (though he was expected to start the year in AA, not Texas).

Martinez had previously been mentioned as someone who was in consideration for a bullpen spot, so if Darvish does come back after missing one start, it is possible that Martinez would move to the bullpen until more reinforcements arrive.

Martinez is not on the 40 man roster, so the Rangers could leave him in the minor league camp, and then purchase his contract when the fifth starter is needed, if they opt to carry someone extra for the first four games of the season.

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