Perez Brings Nothing Tuesday, Jeopardizes Status
At this point, it's a fairly safe assumption the Texas Rangers will make the postseason in some form, whether it's as the AL West winner or as a Wild Card, and if the Rangers are fortunate enough to play in a postseason series, now's the time to start wondering what a playoff rotation might look like.
It's becoming more unclear by the day as the top three spots are solidified with Cole Hamels as the No. 1 and a combination of Derek Holland and Colby Lewis making up the No. 2 and No. 3 spot. As for that fourth spot in a four-man playoff rotation, it's totally up in the air.
In recent weeks, it appeared as if Martin Perez — fresh off Tommy John rehab — would be in that spot, pushing the struggling Yovani Gallardo to the bullpen, but now, it's not so clear. Perez was terrible on Tuesday, showing no command of any of his pitches.
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In fact, long reliever Chi Chi Gonzalez was up and warming in the second inning and there were several instances when manager Jeff Banister probably should've pulled the struggling Perez but opted not to. Finally, in the fifth inning, he'd seen enough.
Perez's final line stunk: 4 IP, 6 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 3 walks and 3 strikeouts.
Gonzalez, who's had a fair amount of success as a rookie starter, pitched two innings and allowed nothing at all while stranding Perez's runner in the fifth.
Depending on what Gallardo can do the rest of the season, and what Perez does, will determine who takes that fourth spot, but the Rangers' rotation with the addition of Hamels and return of Holland and Perez isn't looking quite as formidable at the moment as it did a few weeks ago.