ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 13: Martin Perez #33 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Houston Astros in the top of the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 13, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Yu Darvish is unquestionably the Texas Rangers' ace in their starting rotation.
And right now, Martin Perez is the unquestioned No. 2 starter, just like he really needed to be.
Perez turned in another stellar outing on Sunday, tossing eight scoreless innings against, albeit, a Triple-A lineup in the Houston Astros and earning another win to improve to 2-0 on the season with a 2.70 ERA.
The 23-year-old Venezuelan lefty threw 107 pitches and gave up five hits in his eight innings of work, once again utilizing his groundball outs to rack up a gluttony of double plays with four more on the day. He already had an AL-leading five double plays heading into Sunday's game and extended his lead even further.
"I threw the ball down, and I threw quality pitches," Perez told ESPN Dallas. "You have to throw a quality pitch and if you get a strikeout, fine. If not, you can get ground balls and fly balls to get outs."
The Rangers didn't want Perez to be their No. 2 pitcher this season, but right now that's the way the injuries to Matt Harrison and Derek Holland have left the pecking order. And so far, Perez is showing he can be that, at least for the short term. Imagine what this rotation would look like if Perez is the No. 3 or No. 4 starter. It looks pretty nice.