Martin Perez could have felt jilted, but he didn’t.
He understood why the Texas Rangers went with Justin Grimm over him when they needed a starter in mid-June last season. Forget that Perez has been the Rangers’ top pitching prospect since 2009 and Grimm was a work in progress as a fifth-round pick in 2010.
At the time, Perez was struggling with his fastball command at Triple A Round Rock, and Grimm had a 1.87 ERA at Double A Frisco.
“They called that guy because he was throwing better than me,” Perez said. “I never said, ‘Oh, why they call him because I’m the prospect?’ I’m not a selfish guy.”
Instead, Perez focused on making sure he wouldn’t be overlooked the next time an opportunity presented itself. He threw seven scoreless innings and then a complete game three-hitter his next two starts and made his big league debut on June 27.
Perez bounced between the majors and Triple A the rest of the season but finished as the Rangers’ fifth starter. He didn’t earn incumbent status, though, as he went 0-3 with a 12.46 ERA his final three starts.
“I overthrew last year and missed a lot of the zone,” Perez said. “Now I know I don’t have to throw hard. I just need to throw strikes. Throw more strikes.”
Martin Perez makes strong spring debut
Fort Worth Star-Telegram | Feb 26