The southpaw has failed to justify his once lofty prospect status. Martin Perez's 3.62 ERA from 2013 looks like a fluke, considering he's suffered with a 4.93 ERA since. To be fair, he's been recovering from 2014 Tommy John surgery, so he deserves some patience, especially with a few encouraging signs from 2016. Per PITCHf/x, his four-seamer (92.9 mph) and two-seamer (92.5) sat at three-year highs. Perez again enjoyed a groundball rate over 50 percent, a skill that can lead to bigger things for the impending 26-year-old. One of his best assets is his ability to land an 0-1 count: His 64.6 first-strike percentage tied for 11th among qualified pitchers in 2016. Plus, Texas' offense helped him reach 10 wins despite his rough performances. Even with all these hidden positives, he must show he can grow beyond pitching to contact. Spring training may offer hints that he could be more than just an innings eater in AL-only leagues. While he carries some post-hype intrigue, it is important to proceed with caution.
Perez (1-2) gave up four runs on seven hits and a walk over 3.2 innings in Wednesday's loss to Oakland. After posting a 2.20 ERA despite an atrocious 1.78 WHIP over his first three starts, Perez was due for a course correction. He's seen his strikeout rate rise a bit this year, but Perez's already poor walk rate has gotten significantly worse, and he remains quite hittable. Even if you pick your spots, you're taking a risk by using him.
Perez earned a no-decision in Friday's 2-1 loss to the Mariners, allowing one run on six hits and four walks across five innings with four strikeouts. While Perez allowed just one run on a solo homer to lower his ERA to 2.20, the results could have been dramatically different. He routinely put men on base and escaped two innings with double-play grounders before relying on the bullpen to get him out of a jam with two men on and none out in the bottom of the sixth. The left-hander did lead the MLB in double plays induced last season, but this was partially due to his propensity to put men on base, as his 1.78 WHIP suggests. Perez could face trouble down the line if he doesn't improve in this regard, and he will look to do so Wednesday against the Athletics.
Perez (1-1) fired 5.1 scoreless innings in Sunday's 8-1 win over the Athletics, surrendering six hits and three walks. He also struck out six. Perez encountered some control problems, which led to a count of 92 pitches by the time he exited in the sixth. However, he was otherwise effective, continuing a trend of success in daytime starts at Globe Life Park. Factoring in Sunday's production, Perez is 7-0 with a 1.48 ERA over eight afternoon home games since the beginning of the 2014 season. He'll look to notch a second straight win when he takes on Felix Hernandez and the Mariners in a road start Friday night.
Perez (0-1) allowed three runs on five hits and four walks across six innings during Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Indians. He struck out four. Perez ran up his pitch count early on as he allowed all three runs within the first two innings, but he settled down and allowed just three men to reach over his final four frames. It was a positive that the lefty was able to battle back, as he will be counted on to anchor the middle of the rotation until some of the other starters get up to speed. That said, Perez still took the loss. He will look to achieve a better result Sunday against the Athletics.
Perez will open the season as the No. 3 starter for the Rangers, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Perez had a short spring due to competing with Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic but finished exhibition play with three earned runs and seven strikeouts over 9.2 innings. The 25-year-old started 33 games for the Rangers in 2016, and although he ate up 198.2 innings, he posted a 4.39 ERA and surrendered 18 long balls. The left-hander sports a low-90s fastball to go along with a slider, curveball and changeup, but his success largely depends on his ability to induce groundballs, which he's done at a rate of 52 percent or better in his last three MLB seasons.
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