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)
In less than two months, the 2014 baseball season will begin. The Texas Rangers are poised to return to the postseason, but there are a good amount of questions surrounding the season.
Question: Will Martin Perez have a sophomore slump?
For a few years now, basically since Martin Perez was 17 years old, we've heard about what a great pitcher was coming up through the Texas Rangers system. In 2012, when he was just 21, he struggled mightily to adjust to the big-league game and took a tumble in the minds of those who follow the Rangers' minor league system.
Then, he was set to be a rotation piece last season and was great in spring training before taking a line drive off the forearm and being shelved for a month before starting his season in Triple-A Round Rock. He made one spot start on Memorial Day and was decent and then returned a month later in St. Louis, where he was great. After that, he never left the rotation and is seen as a possible No. 3 starter for the Rangers this year.
He finished the year with a 10-6 record and a 3.62 ERA in 20 starts and had nearly a three-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio. With the other questions on the Rangers' staff, including when they will get Derek Holland, what kind of Matt Harrison they'll get and whether Alexi Ogando can become a reliable starter, the Rangers need Perez to be a consistent force in their rotation.