The Rangers have called up Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin from Triple-A Round Rock, while placing reliever Koji Uehara on the disabled list with a strain of the right latissimus dorsi muscle.
Martin, 24, was Yoenis Cespedes' backup for Cuba in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and has blistered Triple-A pitching this season, despite missing more than a month after suffering a thumb injury. Overall, he's hitting .344/.414/.547 with five home runs in 31 games for the Express. After going hitless in his first game back from injury, he's had at least one hit in each of his last seven games, including two homers.
The Rangers signed Martin to a five-year, $15.6 million contract last season, and he appeared in eight games for the Rangers last season when Nelson Cruz was injured last December. In eight at-bats, he had three hits, including a double. He was on the team's roster for the American League Divison Series but did not play.
If the Rangers want him to play every day, he will likely man center field, moving Josh Hamilton to a corner sport and perhaps saving some wear and tear on Hamilton's body.
Uehara has made 20 relief appearances this season, posting an ERA of 2.11. He will be eligible to return on June 25.