Left-hander Martin Perez was hit by a line drive during his start Sunday, suffering a fractured ulna that will likely sideline him for at least four weeks. It remains unclear how this may affect the Texas Rangers plans for their starting rotation when the season begins. Perez had been considered a favorite to win the final spot in the rotation.
Perez made his MLB Debut this past season, making 12 appearances in which he threw 38.0 IP. The early results weren’t pretty – a 5.45 ERA, 1.632 WHIP, 3.6 BB/9, and 5.9 K/9 – but Perez still showed some talent in his outings. His minor league numbers haven’t been much better – 4.23 ERA, 1.473 WHIP, 540.1 IP – in his career but yet he’s still been named among Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects for five years running. He’s spent the better part of the past two seasons at Triple-A and likely has little left to prove at the level.
Texas will shut down Perez for at least the next 3-4 works as he recovers from the broken arm. How his rehab progresses will likely play a big role in how the team proceeds when the season begins. With word coming out earlier in the day Sunday that the team “hasn’t ruled out signing Kyle Lohse”, speculation immediately turned to the team signing him after word of Perez’s injury became public but it might be shortsighted to suggest that a move will be necessary at all. Should Perez remain on schedule, accepting that it is a very preliminary schedule, then he’d likely only miss the first week or two of the regular season at worst. The Rangers should be able to get by for a week or two with Justin Grimm or another option stepping into the rotation, suggesting that making a move as substantial as signing Lohse just simply might not be necessary.