Texas Rangers: Martin Perez nearing return to the big leagues
By Travis Koch
Texas Rangers starting pitcher, Martin Perez, is working his way back the 60-day DL. He will make his second rehab start tonight with Double-A Frisco.
Like it or not, Texas Rangers lefty Martin Perez will be back on the big league roster very soon. Per Evan Grant of Dallas SportsDay, the plan is for Perez to pitch five or six innings in a rehab start tonight for Double-A Frisco. He pitched very well in his initial rehab start with the Hickory Crawdads this past Monday. In the start, Perez went five strong, allowing two hits and no runs. Most impressively, 51 of his 59 pitches were thrown for strikes.
The clock is ticking for Martin Perez and he has perhaps the most to prove of all Texas Rangers starters. The Rangers have a team option on him for the next two years. 2019’s team option includes a $750k buyout and 2020’s includes a $250k buyout.
Luckily, Texas is in desperate needs of starting pitchers. Cole Hamels could be traded any day now, Bartolo Colon will be a free agent after this year and Doug Fister and Matt Moore are also vulnerable to 2019 team options. Options are everywhere, but none of them very good.
So, Martin Perez is in good shape based solely off process of elimination. Texas will very likely exercise their option.
Perez still needs to show improvement or else he will run into the same contract barrier at the end of next season. Specifically, five starts with a 9.67 ERA like he has posted this season will not cut it next season. His ERA has increased in each of the last three seasons and it more than doubled from 2017 to 2018.
He’s averaged a gruesome 4.8 walks per nine innings and 2.373 WHIP in 2018. Worst of all, his opponents batting average over his five starts this season is .398. It’s worth mentioning the strange cause of his repeated injuries as well. Perez of course fractured his right elbow this past offseason after falling when a bull startled him.
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Ultimately, the Martin Perez experiment has just about ran its course. He’ll be back in major league action likely within the next 10 days and he needs to be all business. He needs to throw strikes and trust his stuff just like he did in 2013 when he had a 3.62 ERA. Perez has a ton to prove.