Apr 13, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez (33) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers Game 17 – Quick pre-game thoughts


Arlington, Tex – The Texas Rangers start today’s game with the 3rd best record in the American League behind the Yankees and Athletics.  LHP Martin Perez will get the start today opposite of the Chicago White Sox RHP Felipe Paulino.

Double-double: Perez so far this season has pitched very well.  He currently has an ERA of 2.70 with 12 strike outs, 6 walks and WHIP of 1.30 over 3 games/20.0 innings.  He is the only Ranger pitcher with 2 wins this season.  During his last two outings Perez has had a bit of magic at the plate.  Several time the leadoff batter has managed to reach base, only to disappear via the double play ball.   During the Boston Red Sox game he induced 5 GIDP balls and 4 against the Houston Astros.   He now has 9 for the season, which is the most in the majors by 4.

Also, as a note, the 5 induced GIDP in the 6.1 innings he pitched in Boston was the most in that few innings since Cleveland Indian’s Dave Otto (6.0 innings) did it in 9/13/1991.  ( Elias Sports Bureau).

If Perez is going to earn his third win tonight, he will need to keep the ball down again and force a few more of those double plays.  The Chicago White Sox haven’t pitched very well and their bullpen is the worst in the AL, but they have still managed to win games.  They are averaging about 5.4 runs per game and currently with a record of 8-8.

Free Kouzies: The Texas Rangers will be without third baseman Adrian Beltre for another week, he’s able to return on April 24th, which is an off day.  But, Kevin Kouzmanoff has been a good replacement.  He’s safely in all 8 games so far as a Texas Rangers.  His defense is about average, not anywhere on the level of Adrian Beltre, but he’s produced several timely hit to collect 6 RBI.  He has a batting average of .414/.469/.690.  Will he keep this up, probably not.  Things will eventually average out for Kouzmanoff, but right now everyone is enjoy it.  In my opinion, I don’t think he’ll cool off soon, I think he’ll ride this a few more days.  He’s seeing the ball well, and hitting the ball well.

Who’s catching: There might be a bit of a catching controversy now, but Ron Washington what have any of it.  He will split the playing time for J.P. Arencibia and Robinson Chirinos.  Right now it seems like Chirinos is the better option, he’s hitting and playing behind the plate better.  If Chirinos is able string together hits over the next few games, that might make things tough when Geovany Soto comes back.

Fireworks at the park: Tonight is the first Friday Fireworks show after the game at Globe Life Park.  Hopefully that will not be the only fireworks at the Globe.  Prince Fielder hasn’t had a hit since his home run on Tuesday against the Mariners and is now 0-9 since then.  His batting average is currently a lowly .164.   After his big hit everyone thought that was a sign he was about to break out of his slump.  He’s never started off this slow.

If you look back, right now teams are doing a great job of playing the shift on Fielder.  Every hit in that is a grass burner in the infield is scooped up by the second baseman for an out.  If it does manage to fly to right, the out fielder doesn’t move to catch the ball.  Over the course of the season, balls will start to find holes and he’ll be fine.  I think he should end up at the end the season with about the same numbers as last year.  If he’s able to get on a tear, then he might exceed them.  In tonight’s game, if the Sox bullpen is as bad as it seems, we might see Fielder go on that tear now.

Tags: Featured Kevin Kouzmanoff Martin Perez Popular Prince Fielder Robinson Chirinos Texas Rangers