Texas Rangers Need Martin Perez to Breakout in 2017
By Andrew Webb
Starting pitcher Martin Perez is heading into his sixth season as a Texas Ranger. The organization has been patiently waiting for him to breakout, but it hasn’t happened yet. The Rangers need Perez to take his game to the next level in 2017.
In 2014 the Texas Rangers agreed to a four-year $12.5 million deal with Martin Perez. That deal ends after the 2017 season, and Perez needs to prove his worth to the organization. He does have team options for 2018-2020, but that doesn’t guarantee the team will pickup the options.
Through five seasons with the Rangers, Perez is 28-30 4.29 ERA in 87 games (81 starts). He has put together three straight seasons with a 4 ERA, and the Rangers should begin to re-evaluate their investment.
Last season was the first time Perez has reached 30 or more starts in a single season. Perez went 10-11 4.39 ERA in 33 starts, and reached almost 200 innings pitched. The bad news is he allowed 205 hits, and walked 76 batters.
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Perez gives up too much contact to opposing batters, and has problems with his command. Not every pitcher can be an ace, but after the 2013 campaign, the Rangers believed they had more than a back-end starter.
In 2013 Perez finished sixth in the Rookie of the Year balloting. Through 20 starts Perez went 10-6 3.62 ERA, and only walked 37 batters. It was a promising sign, but followed by two below average years.
Through four of his five seasons Perez has allowed more hits than innings pitched. He can still be successful even when giving up hits, but he must lower his walk total. Giving up hits, and walking batters can lead to huge problems on the mound.
If the Rangers want to make a deep postseason run in 2017, they’ll need a third starter. Yu Darvish, and Cole Hamels have proven themselves to be ace pitchers. It’ll be difficult to win a postseason series without a third option. Perez needs to prove he can be a reliable starter in 2017.