ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 26: Martin Perez #33 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 26, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Martin Perez didn't officially turn in a quality start (at least six innings, three earned runs or less) on Thursday night against the Seattle Mariners, but he did enough to keep his team in the game long enough to see his offense finally show some life and avoid a three-game sweep at home to the Mariners.
Perez worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing just one unearned run, and while his stuff wasn't as crisp as it was in previous starts against the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds and he had to work out of jams seemingly every inning, he got the job done and is now up up to 12 innings without allowing an earned run.
Now, on the season, Perez is 2-1 with a 1.85 ERA and that includes his debut back in May against the Diamondbacks when he struggled, and the 22-year-old lefty appears to finally be realizing some of his lofty potential the Rangers have seen since he signed as a 16-year-old prospect out of Venezuela.
With the Rangers' pitching rotation in flux right now and awaiting the returns of Alexi Ogando (soon) and Colby Lewis (hopefully by month's end), there will be some people shuffling out of the rotation, but right now it seems Perez could be a fit for the long haul and could slide into the No. 5 spot while Justin Grimm and Nick Tepesch might be on their way out.