Thursday Newsletter time: Quiet spring for Martin Perez, but he says he'll be ready when Texas Rangers call
The left-hander pitched well Wednesday in his first Cactus League game, but his buildup might be behind the other starters.
Martin Perez didn’t sign his one-year, $4 million deal with the Texas Rangers until two days after the MLB lockout ended. He arrived at the Surprise Recreation Campus two days after that.
That was just more than two weeks ago.
There is some concern that the left-hander might be behind the rest of the starters, and that could lead to him starting the fourth or fifth game of the season. The fourth game is the home opener April 11.
Perez seemed to dispel any concerns Wednesday after allowing one run in three innings in his Cactus League debut.
“I’m good,” the veteran said. “When they give me the ball to throw my game, I’ll be ready to pitch.”
The Perez who pitched Wednesday in the 7-0 loss to the White Sox looked like he does when he’s at his best. He used his changeup and two-seam fastball to keep the ball on the ground, and filled up the strike zone against a potent Chicago lineup.
Perez knows how to pitch, something that will serve him well early on while still trying to build his pitch count. He’s been with Minnesota and Boston since signing with the Rangers in 2007 and pitching for them from 2012 to 2018.
He thinks he can log 150 innings or more after pitching 114 last season with the Red Sox. The Rangers need those innings and for him to help steer the young pitchers who figure to be in and out of the rotation.
“I like to ask a lot of questions to old guys, and I think it’s time to teach my teammates what I’ve learned,” Perez said. “It’s going to be a fun season.”
First opt-outs near
All of you roster gurus should put a circle around Saturday. That’s the first day Article XX(B) free agents can opt out of their minor-league deals.
Who’s an XX(B)/20-B free agent? Any veteran player who finished last season but came to camp as a non-roster player. Matt Carpenter, Charlie Culberson, Jake Marisnick, Matt Moore and Greg Holland are the five in Rangers camp.
The new collective bargaining agreement made it so that those free agents have three outs: five days before Opening Day (there are games next Thursday, the day before the Rangers’ opener), May 1 and June 1.
“We didn't really have to negotiate outs for the most part,” president of baseball operations Jon Daniels said.
All five remain in camp and have a good chance at the roster, but likely would want to know if they will be making on it. Woodward almost made Culberson official Wednesday.
Each would need a place on the 40-man roster, which complicates matters. The Rangers’ 40-man is full. They have only one candidate (Jose Leclerc) to be placed on the 60-day injured list, which would create one spot.
The wife and I keep waiting for things to calm down, but it ain’t happening. But it’s a good busy, like recording a new podcast Thursday night (as the wife hosts Wine Night with her girls) with Cody Bradford and then leaving the house at 4 a.m. for a 6 a.m. flight back to spring training. For all those also in the busy boat, here’s the latest from the Newsletter in case you missed it.
Almost to the weekend, buddy. Hang in there. Enjoy. See you Friday.