The Texas Rangers have placed left handed pitcher Brett Martin on the 10 day injured list with rotator cuff inflammation, the team announced today. To take his place on the active roster the Rangers activated Danny Santana from the injured list.
Although Santana started the season as the team’s everyday center fielder, he went 1 for 17 with 8 Ks in 4 games to begin the year before landing on the injured list on July 30 with a sore right forearm. Since that is his throwing arm, that obviously limited what he could do defensively, and even now, the beat guys are saying he is probably limited to 1B and DH duties, along with possibly some second base for the time being. They say he’s probably a week away from playing the outfield.
In Santana’s absence Nick Solak has been playing center field, and while Solak isn’t real good defensively in center, neither is Santana. One would have to suspect that barring Solak suddenly going ice cold or Santana getting red hot over the next week, Solak will continue to get the bulk of the playing time in center.
Why Santana has been activated when he is so limited defensively right now is an open question, though the answer is probably that they want to see how his bat looks after the layoff and give them another potential righty option in what is a very lefty-heavy group of position players. Santana could vie for playing time at any of the infield positions once his arm is healthy if he hits, but if he doesn’t hit, there’s not much reason to think he would move ahead of any of the guys currently getting playing time in the infield.
As for Martin, anything with a rotator cuff is scary, and hopefully his stint on the shelf is short. His absence leaves the Rangers with Joely Rodriguez, Taylor Hearn and Wes Benjamin as the lefties in the pen. Hearn and Benjamin have a combined 1.1 major league innings pitched, while Joely, the veteran, has 41 IP in his major league career.