Nick Martinez remembers making the 10-minute trips from his school to Yankee Stadium just a few years ago.
From 2009-11, Martinez played at Fordham University, and in his free time, he enjoyed seeing the Yankees in action.
Now a starting pitcher for the Rangers, Martinez will arrive at the Stadium for Tuesday night's game not to watch, but to pitch.
Martinez was activated Tuesday from the 15-day disabled list, feeling 100 percent after fighting discomfort in his left side, and he's excited for his Yankee Stadium debut.
"I have my family here, all of my college buddies, a few coaches," Martinez said on Monday. "It's going to be special."
Martinez's last start came on July 1 in Baltimore, where the right-hander gave up eight runs (six earned) on seven hits in five innings.
"I have to be more efficient to go deeper in the games," Martinez said. "I still have to attack hitters, locate my fastball and keep hitters off balance."
Chase Whitley will get the ball for the Yankees and will be the ninth rookie to start against the Rangers this season.
The other eight rookies went a combined 5-1 with a 3.88 ERA in nine starts; the Rangers are 2-7 when facing a rookie pitcher.
Like the Rangers this season, the Yankees have experienced their fair share of injuries over the past two years, and the pitching staff is no exception.
Four of the five starters from New York's Opening Day rotation are on the disabled list, but the group has still found a way to win; the Yankees are in second place in the American League East.
"It's an opportunity to prove yourself," manager Joe Girardi said. "I think you just have the attitude that no matter what happens, we're going to press on and we're out there to win games and that's what we're going to do. We're not going to make excuses, because I would say no one's going to feel sorry for you."
Rangers: Washington revisits early years
On Monday, manager Ron Washington recalled 2007 and '08, when the Rangers were in a rebuilding mode and enduring the only two losing seasons he has experienced as a manager.
"More than anything, this gives guys the opportunity to show they can play on a Major League club," Washington said. "We're working extra to get them acclimated. We're back in the mode of 2007-08, trying to put something together.
"We just have a lot of inexperience, and there are pains that come from inexperience. We're not making excuses; we're just trying to get them to play baseball and step up. To be successful, it takes time. A lot of them are just trying to survive, and that makes it difficult. Something always comes into play."
Yankees: Teixeira to miss a few days
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is expected to miss three or four days due to a mild strain of his lower left lat. The Yankees are hopeful the injury won't force Teixeira to the disabled list.
Teixeira revealed on Monday that he started feeling spams up and down his back during the Yankees' series in Oakland from June 13-15, and he has received various treatments since. Over the past few days, the pain became too difficult to manage, so after Sunday's 3-2 win over the Reds, Teixeira underwent an MRI exam that revealed the injury.
Teixeira was scheduled to receive a platelet-rich plasma shot on Monday from Yankees team physician Christopher Ahmad.
"You really don't know exactly how it's going to respond," Teixeira said. "So that's why we say we'll re-evaluate in three to four days, and hopefully the back responds really well to the PRP. If that happens, then hopefully I'll be back soon. If not, it might take a few more days after that."
• Roster room for Martinez was made on Tuesday when the Rangers placed catcher Giovany Soto on the 15-day disabled list with a groin strain.
• Alex Rios, still sidelined with a sprained right ankle, is not expected to play on Tuesday, even if he says he is ready to go. Washington likes to give players an extra day of recovery from a minor injury once they are ready.
• Whitley's start on Tuesday will mark the 47th time this season the Yankees will have used a rookie starting pitcher. The next-closest team is Seattle with 23.
Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.