Updates from Monday, May 19
Martin Perez had Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery today and it went as expected, the #Rangers announce.— Drew Davison (@drewdavison) May 19, 2014
Updates from Saturday, May 17
Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter Jeff Wilson has an update on Perez's surgery:
Martin Perez to have Tommy John surgery Monday. #Rangers— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) May 17, 2014
Martin Perez: "I know it's not an easy decision for me, but it's the only thing I can do. I promise you guys that I'm going to be better."— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) May 17, 2014
Updates from Thursday, May 15
Marcos Grunfeld of Venezuelan newspaper La Vinotinto provides an update from Martin Perez, who speaks about his injury:
Just talked to Martin Perez and he told me that he will undergo to TJ Surgery asap. His agent and Rangers will decide surgery date tomorrow.— Marcos Grunfeld M. (@bvenezolano) May 15, 2014
The Texas Rangers have placed pitcher Martin Perez on the disabled list due to inflammation in his left throwing elbow.
Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported the news on Wednesday:
#Rangers putting Martin Perez on DL with left elbow inflammation.— Drew Davison (@drewdavison) May 14, 2014
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the injury may be more serious than initially anticipated:
Partially torn UCL for Martin Perez. Tommy John possible. Matt Harrison with a vertebrae issue. Fusion surgery possible. #Rangers— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) May 14, 2014
Perez is just 23 years of age and showed promise with a 3.62 ERA in 20 starts last season en route to a 10-6 record. He then carried that over to a hot 4-0 start to the 2014 MLB campaign. Unfortunately, it seems this elbow issue has taken its toll, as Perez has lost his past three starts, being tagged for a combined 19 earned runs in that span.
Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal alluded to Perez's struggles in his previous start versus Boston:
Martin Perez has needed 64 pitches to get the first nine outs -- and that's with help from Red Sox baserunners.— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) May 11, 2014
Bleacher Report injury expert Will Carroll added this ominous inside information in reporting Perez is scheduled for an MRI:
Martin Perez heading for an MRI on his elbow. Sources sound very concerned.— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) May 11, 2014
It was wise for Texas to give Perez's arm a rest at this early juncture of the season, especially with how the precocious lefty came storming out of the gates to begin the year. The hope is that this ailment isn't serious and doesn't keep him out for long, yet it is currently difficult to assess the severity of the injury.
On top of Perez's impending absence, another starting southpaw in Matt Harrison is dealing with a back injury, as Jean-Jacques Taylor of ESPNDallas.com references in his analysis. Taylor also reports that Nick Tepesch, who has played well in Triple-A after a bad spring training, will be counted on to step up, and Tepesch discussed how he plans to do so:
"I had a pretty awful spring. You can’t expect to make the team pitching that bad," said Tepesch, per Taylor. "The only thing I’m doing different is my command is better than it was last year. [...] You do that and you get ahead of hitters. I can throw all four of my pitches for strikes."
As has often been the case for the Rangers in the past, they have relied on offense to keep them in the early playoff race, while their pitching has been rather poor. Perez was a bright spot in the rotation, but now without him, Texas will have a harder time overcoming its weakness, as it already ranks 26th in team ERA and 27th in quality starts.
Staff ace Yu Darvish can only carry so much weight. The Rangers have to seriously consider seeking help from the outside if Perez is out for a considerable amount of time and if Tepesch can't adequately fill the gaping, persistent void on the mound in Arlington.