Martin won't hit leadoff when he returns from injury

Martin won't hit leadoff when he returns from injury

ST. PETERSBURG -- Leonys Martin, sidelined with a sprained left wrist, could be back in the Rangers' lineup as early as Saturday. But it won't be in the leadoff spot.

Shin-Soo Choo has been batting leadoff for the first five games of the current road trip and manager Jeff Banister is inclined to keep him there for now.

Choo went into Friday's game with a seven-game hitting streak and the Rangers have won all four games with him batting atop the lineup.

"I like the look from Choo right now," Banister said. "He is aggressive with his swing and working the count. He's got some traction going and there is some synergy. We'll see how that looks. That doesn't mean Leonys won't make it to the top at some point."

Martin was out of the lineup for the fourth straight day, but is able to play. He took a full round of early batting practice on Friday afternoon.

"It was good," Martin said. "I still feel it, but it was good. I will be ready for [Saturday]."

Banister hasn't said if Martin will start on Saturday. But he did say Martin is available as a pinch-hitter off the bench.

Worth noting

• The Royals are scheduled to throw Danny Duffy, Edinson Volquez, Yordano Ventura and Jeremy Guthrie during the four-game series that starts Monday in Arlington.

Derek Holland, on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder, had a scan on Friday. The results were clean but Holland has not been cleared to begin a throwing program.

• When Evan Longoria missed Thursday's game with the flu, it ended his streak of 270 straight games played. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre has played in 168 straight games, now the second longest active streak. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has played in 196 straight.

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.