Texas Rangers: Martin Perez Rehab Interview
As one of the brightest young players in the Texas Rangers organization, everyone was thrilled to see the return of 21-year old starting pitcher Martin Perez last night.
Pitching for the first time since May 10, 2014 and undergoing Tommy John Surgery, Perez took the hill for the Frisco RoughRiders and threw 2.2 innings, allowing a run on five hits while striking out four.
But the numbers are irrelevant. As long as he didn’t simply allow everyone he faced to hop on board the base paths, it was a success because the bright pitcher and budding star is back.
After his start, Perez caught up with a handful of members from the media, which I was fortunate enough to be apart of.
How would you assess your Outing?
Martin Perez: It was good, I feel good. Threw a lot of strikes, trying to work on my curve. I think so far so good, most important thing is my arm feels good and that’s how I want to feel.
Everything feel smooth? Comfortable?
Perez: Yes. Second inning I was trying to work on my sinker and changeup. (Not) trying to throw hard, the last one was…a little harder. Use more of my two seam, my out pitch. And I think the location was good, the velocity too.
Nervous at all?
Perez: First inning, yes. During warmups and then being on the mound, doing what I (did) today. I just want to continue to throw and do what I need to do to be ready to help the team.
Do you feel like you could have gone more? (Perez was on a strict pitch count; threw 45)
Perez: Yes, yes. I think I can go more and that’s important to me. That means I did everything good to feel that. I think I can go more, I can go longer but we have to go step by step.
Perez: Yeah, I’m coming back tomorrow and I have a bullpen early Friday with (Rangers Pitching Coach Mike) Maddux. But I feel good and I feel happy to be back, to do my job and trying to help my team. That’s all.
Do you know what your schedule is going forward?
Perez: No, not yet. Just wait. My focus now is to finish my rehab assignment and when they make the decision I want to be ready.
Do you know where your next rehab start is?
Perez: I think it’s in Round Rock (with the AAA-affiliate Express) Monday. But after that I don’t know how many starts I need to throw and maybe (when I get to) six innings and we’re done with that…(I’ll be) ready to go.
Were you concerned at all with the arm tonight? *Perez shakes it off as if it we’re a pitch he doesn’t want to throw* So what was the big hurdle tonight?
Perez: I think my changeup is there, my slider was really good. Two seam fast ball and fastball in was amazing. I think I need to work a little more on my curveball, but that’s it. My body feels good.
Do you feel different at all from before the surgery to now after?
Perez: Now I feel physically strong. It was one year off baseball, doing rehabbing and working out. Now I feel different, feel strong. I have a little bit more weight. Mentally strong, too. Like I said I’m ready to go.
Asked to elaborate about the hits he gave up.
Perez: …I don’t like to watch the results. I just like to feel good and be ready for my next start.
Did you feel tired at all in the third?
Perez: No, no. I feel… good *laughs* like I felt before. Stronger and I’m happy because my arm feels good.
Target return date after the All-Star Break?
Perez: I think before. Maybe.
Summary: Martin Perez is back, and it’s a very very very great thing.