Wandy to 'pen, Martinez back in rotation

Wandy to 'pen, Martinez back in rotation

HOUSTON -- The Rangers have changed their rotation again. Nick Martinez is coming back to the big leagues and Wandy Rodriguez is going to the bullpen.

Martinez, who was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock on July 2, will rejoin the team Monday and pitch against the Rockies. Rodriguez, who was 6-4 with a 4.07 ERA, gives the Rangers another left-hander and long reliever in the bullpen.

"Right now, Wandy is going to pitch out of the bullpen," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We want to get Nick back into play. We wanted to give him a chance to freshen up, now we're going to get him back up here."

Martinez will be followed by Matt Harrison on Tuesday and Martin Perez on Wednesday against the Rockies.

"We've got Harrison in the rotation, we need to get him back on a regular routine," Banister said. "We want to get Martin Perez on a regular routine. Unplugging Wandy out of the rotation and using him in the bullpen, we felt he was the best guy to go. We can replug him into the rotation."

Rodriguez has been used almost exclusively as a starter in his 11-year career. He has made 263 starts and just 10 relief appearances. Over the past nine years, he has pitched just twice in relief.

A trade might be possible by the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. The Rangers have received mild interest in Rodriguez from other teams, although he is looked at as a fallback acquisition if clubs can't trade for a front-line impact starter.

Martinez, in his second Major League season, was 5-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 16 starts for the Rangers. He had also pitched 97 innings and the club wanted to back him off. Martinez pitched a total of 150 innings in 2014 and the Rangers don't want to overtax him with a significant increase this season.

"It was part of the process," Banister said.

Martinez pitched twice at Round Rock for a total of six innings during his time in the Minors. His last start for the Rangers was July 1 in a 4-2 loss to the Orioles.

Worth noting

• With the help of the All-Star break, Sam Freeman has pitched in seven straight games for Texas. It is the longest such streak by the Rangers since Dale Mohorcic pitched in 13 straight in 1986. Freeman faced one batter in five of those seven games.

Adrian Beltre played in his 2,411th game at third base Sunday. That ties him for second all time with Graig Nettles. Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson played in 2,870 games at third. Beltre also played in his 2,496th game overall Sunday. He should be the 55th player to reach 2,500 by the time the road trip ends.

• Ross Ohlendorf, on the disabled list because of a strained right groin, has pitched in seven games on medical rehabilitation assignment for Round Rock and has a 2.79 ERA. His rehab assignment expires next Sunday. Said Banister, "He is continuing to progress and throwing the ball well."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.