Martin Perez #33 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 15, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Martin Perez probably should've started on Opening Day. As he showed in his debut on Tuesday — the second game of the 2014 season — he is mature well beyond his years, and we pretty much knew that last season.
But you know what? It's not a decision worth second-guessing. A win is a win, and a loss is a loss. The Rangers are 1-1 and have 160 games remaining this season. But Perez stated his case on Tuesday that, after two starts anyway, Perez is their most trusted starting pitcher right now.
The 22-year-old lefty, who will turn 23 on the Rangers' off-day Thursday, struck out seven, walked none and allowed two runs — both in the sixth inning, his final inning. Sure, he left the game with the Rangers trailing 2-0, but he did his job, which was to keep the team in the game for the offense that is expected to be much better than it was in 2013.
It was exciting to see Perez attack the zone, like he'd said he needed to after he watched the Rangers' pitchers do the exact opposite on Monday, and work efficiently mixing his fastball with a slider and an excellent changeup.
You know what's more exciting? The prospect of Perez making a season's worth of starts instead of making just his second start of the season in late June like he did last season, when he won 10 games.