June 18, 2013

Rangers notes: No rush with Perez despite minors success

Rangers notes

Left-hander Martin Perez isn’t letting the Rangers forget about him at Triple A Round Rock since being sent down after his only start with the big league club on May 27.

Since then, Perez, 22, has gone 4-0 with a 1.13 ERA in four starts since his season debut on the front end of a doubleheader at Arizona.

In that game, Perez gave up nine hits and four runs in 51/3 innings of a 5-3 Rangers loss.

Last Monday at Round Rock, Perez threw six scoreless innings, while rookie Nick Tepesch allowed six runs over 32/3 innings in Arlington. There appear to be no immediate plans for Perez to rejoin the Rangers even though Tepesch and Justin Grimm have struggled, and Josh Lindblom is filling in Alexi Ogando’s spot for the time being.

“The only conversation we had is he threw well last night,” manager Ron Washington said. “That’s the end of the conversation.”

Since strong starts to the season, both Tepesch and Grimm have tailed off recently. In Monday’s 8-7 win over Oakland, Tepesch started with three scoreless innings before running into trouble in the fourth. Tepesch wound up with the no-decision after help from the Rangers’ resurgent offense and bullpen but hasn’t won since May 12 against Houston.

“You’re going to have ups and downs throughout the season,” Tepesch said. “And it’s about how fast can you make an adjustment and get back to keeping things right.”

Washington said right-hander Grimm, who starts tonight, needs to minimize the “big inning.” The American League Rookie of the Month for April is 0-2 in his last three starts with 19 earned runs in 15 innings.

He gave up four runs in the fourth inning Friday against Toronto, four runs in the third inning June 9 against Toronto and six runs in the second inning June 4 against Boston.

“I just need to minimize that and slow it down a little bit and continue to go after guys,” Grimm said.

A night off

Ron Washington gave struggling Elvis Andrus the day off. In his last 25 games, the Rangers’ All-Star shortstop is hitting .167, dragging his season average down to .241.

“I just felt like I needed to get him off the field today,” Washington said. “That was just my gut feeling. You play this game long enough and you struggle. That’s it. He’s just struggling.”

Andrus said soreness in his back played no role in Washington’s decision. Rather, he hoped the day off would allow him to recharge emotionally.

“I hate days off but you got to take it,” Andrus said. “It’s not the way I play. It’s energy level. I’m going to watch the game and it’s going to help a lot. I just want to simplify things. I think it’s about feeling well.”

Injury updates

Alexi Ogando, on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, played catch from 90 feet but still feels the swelling, though without the pain, he said.

Ogando, on the DL for the second time this season, said his problems are not related to him transitioning back to the rotation. He said his preference is to stay in the rotation rather than move back to the bullpen.

“I want to continue being a starter, and that’s why I want to make sure my arm is 100 percent fine,” Ogando said.

Fellow starter Matt Harrison, on the DL after back surgery earlier this season, played catch from 60 feet and could progress out to 70 feet next week. Colby Lewis, another starter on the DL (flexor tendon surgery), is scheduled to throw another bullpen session Thursday.

Reliever Joakim Soria, 14 months removed from Tommy John surgery and healing from a pectoral strain, will begin a medical rehabilitation assignment Thursday at Double A Frisco. The right-hander will need to pitch about 10 innings and on consecutive days before he’s activated.

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