Welcome back, Martin Perez.
The Texas Rangers announced on Thursday that they will be recalling Perez, their top pitching prospect, for a start on Saturday against the vaunted St. Louis Cardinals. It will be the second appearance in the Majors this year for Perez, who threw a 5+-inning start against the Diamondbacks on May 27th.
Once one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, the star has faded a bit on Perez in recent months and years. After absolutely destroying the low minors (including a 2.31 ERA, 10.09 K/9 stint in Class A), Perez has been battered around a lot in both the high minors and majors. In 13 MLB appearances (7 starts), Perez has a 5.40 ERA (4.36 FIP) and just 5.61 K/9 versus 3.53 BB/9.
To make room for Perez, the Rangers sent pitcher Josh Lindblom back to Round Rock (the triple-A affiliate), but the big-time emphasis on this move is Perez’s promotion. The pitching-starved Rangers have horses in Yu Darvish (who is a Cy Young candidate) and Derek Holland, but with Matt Harrison on the shelf and continued injury concerns for Neftali Feliz and Alexi Ogando, Texas could really use some high-impact innings from Perez.
If you buy into his minor league pedigree at the moment, that doesn’t sound particularly likely. The “stuff” is still there for Perez, but he hasn’t put it together against any level of serious competition. However, it’s now a “wait and see” game for the Rangers, and Saturday’s appearance against a very good St. Louis offense should be a great indicator of where the young left-hander is in his development.