Starting Saturday, Perez aims to stick around

Starting Saturday, Perez aims to stick around

ST. LOUIS -- Martin Perez will rejoin the Rangers' rotation on Saturday, when he pitches against the Cardinals. It will be his second start of the season and eighth in the Major Leagues.

Perez is hoping to earn a permanent spot in the rotation, but manager Ron Washington just wants him thinking about Saturday.

"Let's let Martin settle in," Washington said. "I don't want him thinking about what's next. If he pitches well, he'll certainly get the ball again. But I don't want him thinking about that."

Perez has long been considered the Rangers' top pitching prospect, ranked by as No. 6 overall in the organization, but has had to overcome several hurdles just to get to this point. He was 1-4 with a 5.45 ERA in six starts and six relief appearances with the Rangers last season, being called up from Triple-A on three different occasions. He started off well this spring but suffered a broken arm on March 4 and missed the first two months of the season.

That kept him from earning a spot in the rotation. Now he's getting another chance with Alexi Ogando (right shoulder inflammation) and Matt Harrison (recovering from back surgery) both on the disabled list. Ogando is still at least a couple of weeks away, while Harrison is out until at least mid-August.

"I think this is my time," Perez said. "Wash told me last year it wasn't my time, but I think this is my time. I think I'm good to go and ready to compete. I just need the opportunity to do the job, and I think people will see what I can do to help this team."

Perez was 5-0 with a 0.87 ERA in his last five starts at Round Rock before being promoted. The Rangers will have to make a roster move before Saturday's game.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.