After Roy Oswalt's unceremonious exit from Sunday's game after two innings of work in his spot start against the Tampa Bay Rays, manager Ron Washington needed to have some sort of long man to bring into the game in a role that Oswalt usually occupies.
Thanks to September call-ups and the expansion of the major league rosters, Washington was able to go to a familiar face in 21-year-old lefty Martin Perez, who last appeared in a big league game back on July 31 when he pitched an inning of scoreless relief against the Los Angeles Angels.
Perez's last extensive work came back on July 24 when he got a start as the Rangers were dealing with injuries to several starting pitchers, and he looked really good in a no-decision to the Boston Red Sox, as he went six innings while giving up five hits and one run.
On Sunday, Perez looked good, pitching five solid innings of relief and eating up some innings while allowing seven hits and two runs — off two solo home runs by B.J. Upton, who finished his day with three bombs. He struck out three and walked just one.
There's no telling what the short-term future holds for Perez, as it seems (hopefully so) that Oswalt could be done for the season after complaining of forearm stiffness Sunday. As of now, Scott Feldman is the team's No. 5 starter and actually worked a good outing his last time out, but it would be wise to move him back to the long relief role for the rest of the season and let him get re-acclimated to coming out of the bullpen, where he served a valuable role in the 2011 postseason.
How about giving Perez the rest of Feldman's starts and getting the kid some good big-league experience as he only has three starts under his belt. Seems like a good idea to me considering he's a guy that looks to figure into the starting rotation in 2013.