"I feel pretty good. I still need to attack more with my fastball," Perez told MLB.com. "My other pitches are good. The only thing I have to work on is my fastball. A couple of hitters, I was behind in the count."
Perez also walked two batters in a two-inning performance Saturday, giving him a 3:5 K:BB ratio in five innings over his first two appearances. He's scheduled to break camp in the team's starting rotation but needs to get a handle on his control issues.
Perez allowed one run in two innings of work, though he allowed just one hit. He walked two batters and stuck out one in a game that would end in a 2-2 tie.
Perez is set to open the season in the majors for the first time in his career. He posted a 3.62 ERA in 124 1/3 innings in 20 starts in 2013.
Catcher J.P. Arencibia came away impressed with the young pitcher after catching him during an intrasquad game. "He's got some crazy stuff," Arencibia said. "He's got some real, real good stuff." But the superlatives didn't stop there. "He's definitely got some of the best stuff I've ever caught," Arencibia concluded.
Pitcher Mike Maddux added that he feels good about Perez's cutter. The two worked on the pitch last season, but didn't feel comfortable throwing it during games. Maddux said Perez would experiment with the offering during spring camp.
Perez posted a 3.62 ERA in 124 1/3 innings.
Perez worked on the pitch throughout the offseason, and plans to throw it early during camp. He actually threw the pitch twice last season, but wasn't happy with it. "In the past, I tried it and if it wasn’t good, I’d throw it out," Perez said. "But now I’ve got more confidence. I can throw it and I feel great."
Perez added that he worked on training his core muscles during the offseason. He was limited early last year due to a broken forearm.
In 124 1/3 innings, Perez posted a 3.62 ERA last season.
"I like when I’ve got a lot of expectations because I think everyone is looking to me and it means I’m doing better," Perez said, per ESPN. "I don’t have pressure now. I have more experience and (I) just have to work hard and do my job."
After going 10-6 with a 3.62 ERA in 20 starts last season, Perez said he wants to throw "more strikes after two outs." He added he also wants to get more out of his curveball in 2014.
"I need to make my pitches and throw strikes," Perez said. "I want to give my team a chance to win."
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/30/2013 vs Tampa Bay|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 30 || 31 |
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|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2011||AAA-Round Rock Express||4||4||6.43||10||10||0||0||0||49.0||72||38||35||4||0||20||37|
|2012||AAA-Round Rock Express||7||6||4.25||22||21||2||0||0||127.0||122||70||60||10||4||56||69|