Texas Rangers pitcher Martin Perez is throwing bullpen sessions, per the beat guys on Twitter, and continues to say that he will be ready to go by Opening Day as he recovers from a broken right elbow. The broken bone, suffered on his non-throwing arm, occurred over the winter when he fell on his ranch, and was initially reported by the team to be expected to keep him out the first month of the season.
A healthy Perez would be a lock to be in the Opening Day rotation, regardless of whether the team opts to experiment with a six man rotation, or chooses to go with the traditional five man rotation. The Rangers added Matt Moore and Doug Fister as rotation members this offseason, joining Perez and Cole Hamels, and are also evaluating Mike Minor, Matt Bush, Bartolo Colon and Jon Niese as potential starting pitching options.
Taking a cautious approach with Perez and starting him on the disabled list would potentially allow the Rangers to get a longer look at Minor and Bush, their two bullpen-to-rotation conversion projects, or alternatively give them the option of keeping Bartolo Colon around for the beginning of the season. Perez has been adamant, however, since the injury that he won’t need to be on the d.l. to start the year, and it sounds like in any case he would be unlikely to miss much time.