Just a few days ago, the biggest injury to the Texas Rangers was Elvis Andrus’ left arm, which was sore from a new tattoo he had put on during an off day. On Sunday, left-handed pitcher Martin Perez sustained a broken arm during their 7-6 loss to the Seattle Mariners. Perez was hit just above the left wrist by a line drive off the bat of second baseman Brad Miller during the sixth inning.The injury takes him out of the current competition to be the Rangers fifth starter as he will be down for at least two months.
Perez, who was 1-4 with a 5.45 ERA in six starts and six relief appearances for the Rangers last season, came running out of the gate during the first week of Spring Training. After throwing two scoreless innings against the Colorado Rockies, he relieved Justin Grimm on Sunday and had allowed just one run against the Mariners before sustaining the injury. Kyle McClellan, another candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation, is also sidelined with muscle soreness in the back of his right shoulder and hasn’t played as of yet.
Left-hander Robbie Ross and right-hander Randy Wells are the two best remaining candidates for the fifth-starter spot. Ross has allowed two runs in five innings of work and Wells has allowed three runs, two earned, over four innings. Grimm is also a candidate, but has allowed nine runs over 4 1/3 innings in his first two outings. There is also the lesser known Nate Robertson, a left-hander who was brought in from the Minor League as a candidate for the Rangers bullpen. He hasn’t played in the majors since 2010, but he’s pitched three scoreless innings as a reliever during Spring Training.
The Rangers could also consider free agent Kyle Lohse, whom the Rangers looked at during the off season. Lohse went 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA in his 33 starts for the St. Louis Cardinals last season. However, if the Rangers sign Lohse, they would have to forfeit their first round draft pick, something they are reluctant to do. With four weeks remaining until Opening Day, the Rangers still have time to address the fifth-starter situation.
The Rangers have split their last four games dating back to Thursday, picking up wins against the Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks (winning 10-0 and 7-1, respectively) while losing 8-6 and 7-6 against Seattle. Up next, the Rangers face the San Diego Padres at 2:05 CST.