Don't waste time trying to tell Martin Perez that he won't be ready for Opening Day.
"I'll be ready for kicking ass," the left-hander said Wednesday at Texas Rangers pitchers and catchers reported for spring training.
The Rangers said in December that Perez would could miss the first month of the season after the now-infamous fall while trying to dodge an angered bull. He — Perez, not the bull — broke his non-throwing elbow and had surgery Dec. 18.
Perez said that he has thrown four bullpen sessions, the first Feb. 2 and the latest Tuesday, and is catching the ball back from the catcher. His handshake is also more firm than it was last month during Fan Fest.
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He is still limited in some areas and won't participate in all drills Thursday during the first workout for pitchers and catchers. But he has no doubt that he won't open the season on the disabled list.
"I haven't caught any groundballs yet, but I need to take any groundballs at this time," Perez said. "I need to make sure I get my arm ready."
The Rangers' 2018 lid-lifter is scheduled for March 29 against the Houston Astros.
A few other notes:
- Right-handed reliever Chris Martin was excused from report day after his wife gave birth last week to a daughter. Martin, the former Arlington High star who was signed in December after two seasons in Japan, is expected to be in camp Thursday.
- Bartolo Colon was expected to be in the clubhouse Wednesday, but apparently he was unavoidably detained. A club official said that he threw a bullpen session Tuesday.
- Hitting coach Anthony Iapoce was sent home Wednesday morning with an illness. He looked and sounded miserable. Fortunately, there is plenty of Purell in the Rangers' clubhouse.
- Chi Chi Gonzalez said that he is throwing at 75 feet for a third straight week and will graduate to 90 feet next week. He had Tommy John surgery in late July and hopes to be pitching in a game somewhere in September.