The rebuilding of the Texas Rangers starting rotation is going to be the most interesting storyline to follow in Arlington this off-season. Does lefty Martin Perez deserve another shot at impressing the Rangers?
It has been hit or miss for Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez. Often times Perez gets knocked around and looks lost on the mound and then he comes back and throws six shutout innings in his next start.
The 2017 season was a mixed result for Perez who went 13-12 with a 4.82 ERA in 32 starts. He was the only Rangers’ pitcher to make over 30 starts in 2017. The 26-year-old has a team option for 2018, but should the team pick it up?
Through his first 16 starts in 2017, Perez went 4-6 posting a 4.60 ERA and opponents hit .314 off him. His post All-Star break went better, going 9-6 with a 5.01 ERA in 16 starts and opponents hit .288 against him.
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His stats are never going to scream ace or even reliable starter for that matter. The Rangers know Perez is going to give up hits because that’s how he’s always been since his career started. Can he limit the damage and give the Rangers an opportunity to win?
This season Perez finished with a 2.1 WAR which is a career high for him. That being said he did pitch much better than he has in previous years. He will likely never develop into the guy he was during his rookie season, but the Rangers can live with that.
Right now the Rangers just need someone who can stay healthy and keep Texas in the game. The team option for next season is worth $6 million. Texas doesn’t have a lot of options, and three rotation spots to fill this winter.
If the team was in different position they could decline the team option, but Texas needs pitching. The Rangers should pick up the team option on Perez even though he lacks consistency. He’s a cheap back-end starter, and he’ll eat up innings at worst.