Rangers send Martinez to Triple-A

Club wants pitcher to stay in starting role; infielder Smith called up

Rangers send Martinez to Triple-A

NEW YORK -- In an effort to keep Nick Martinez in a starting role, the Rangers optioned him to Triple-A Round Rock before Wednesday's game against the Mets at Citi Field. Texas called up infielder Tyler Smith in a corresponding move.

Tyson Ross, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on July 24 with a blister on his right index finger, is expected to return to the starting rotation soon, which would have bumped Martinez back to the bullpen. Rangers manager Jeff Banister wanted to keep Martinez in the starting mentality, and he did not feel Martinez would benefit from spending time in the bullpen at the Major League level.

Martinez, across three stints for the big league club, is 3-4 with a 5.38 ERA in 16 games (13 starts) this season.

The Rangers claimed Smith off waivers on July 30, two days after he was designated for assignment by Seattle. The 26-year-old made his Major League debut earlier this season with the Mariners, going 3-for-16 in 10 games. Smith hit .237 with six home runs and 29 RBIs at the Triple-A level this year with Tacoma and Round Rock. The former eighth-round pick has played primarily shortstop in his professional career, but he has also spent time at third and second.

Banister does not expect Smith's promotion to be too lengthy.

"We don't really know how long this is going to be with Smith," he said before the Rangers and Mets played Wednesday.

For that reason, the team opted to not recall Jurickson Profar and use him in a bench role for a short period of time.

"I don't know how long this is going to be," Banister reiterated. "[We] don't want Pro coming up here just sitting for a couple days -- whether it was one days, two days."

Just a day off for Odor

One day after taking a Chris Flexen pitch off the top of the left foot while hitting, Rougned Odor was given a day off. Banister called the move precautionary. Odor's absence from the lineup was a contributing factor to Smith's callup, to bolster the infield depth.

Cashner's next start remains unknown

After being scratched from Tuesday's start with neck stiffness, Andrew Cashner was feeling a little better on Wednesday.

"Little bit of progress today, but not that drastic," Cashner said before Wednesday's game. 

Cashner said his movement improved, but he is still in some pain. The right-hander added he hopes to pitch at some point this weekend, which would most likely be Saturday after Cole Hamels opens the series against Houston on Friday.

If Cashner can't go, Ross will be in line start Saturday. Banister claimed Ross is ready to return.

"I think we're comfortable with, based on his outings, the length, the look, the feel, where he's at, the finger, all of it," Banister said.

Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Rangers on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.