Texas Rangers transactions: Kyle Bird has been optioned to AAA Nashville as of yesterday, the Rangers announced today. No corresponding move has been announced, although the beat guys are saying Brett Martin is expected to be recalled.
The 26 year old lefthander was acquired from Tampa in the three way deal that sent Jurickson Profar to Oakland, and won a bullpen spot on the Opening Day roster. He has struggled with his command, however — out of 29 batters faced this year, he has walked 7, hit 2, and allowed 2 home runs while striking out only 3.
Martin, who turns 24 next week, was one of the big stories of camp this spring. The lefty was a 4th round pick in 2014, and has consistently earned praise for his stuff while struggling with his command and with injuries. After being put on the 40 man roster after the 2017 season, he had a disastrous 2018 campaign, putting up a 7.28 ERA, but with a 3.36 FIP. His peripherals were great, but he was throwing way too many hittable strikes, and he ended up getting moved out of the rotation and into the pen.
Martin continued to work out of the bullpen this spring and had a sensational camp, only being sent down right before Opening Day. In 8 innings of work over 6 games for Nashville, he’s allowed just 1 run on 7 hits and 3 walks, striking out 10.
If Martin doesn’t come up and someone else is the pick, well, he will be up eventually anyway. But if Martin is promoted, he will give the Rangers another multi-inning option out of the pen.