33 days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training for the Texas Rangers.
#33 for the Texas Rangers will report, I'm assuming, in 33 days, but will not be on the same throwing schedule as the rest of the pitchers. Martin Perez underwent Tommy John surgery in mid-May, cutting short what was initially looking like a breakout season for Perez. Of everything that went bad in 2014 for Texas, the two things that hit me hardest were the injuries to Matt Harrison and Martin Perez. Harrison's was because he might never pitch again. Perez, on the other hand, was different...this was a guy we had followed for so long, who had had ups and downs, who some of us, at times, had seemingly written off. And early in 2014, it looked like he was rewarding those who had kept the faith, was shaping up to be the latest farm system success story.
And then he struggled. And then we learned he had an inflamed elbow. And then he had Tommy John surgery.
We've talked a lot about the hole in the #3 spot in the Rangers rotation. A healthy Perez or a healthy Harrison would have dramatically changed the way we look at the 2015 Rangers. The good news, at least, is that most pitchers make it back from Tommy John surgery, and so there's reason to believe we'll get Martin Perez back eventually. It may be in the second half of the season, it may be in 2016, but there's reason to be optimistic that Perez will be back in the Ranger rotation at some point, winning games and reminding us of the importance of being patient with prospects.