Rangers left-handed pitcher Martin Perez was happy with his first spring start Saturday against the A’s at Phoenix Municipal Stadium..
He allowed one earned run on one hit and two walks with a strikeout in two innings of work. The game ended tied, 2-2. Perez tested a cut fastball twice that he’s determined to add to his arsenal this season. He’d like to throw it for strikes on both sides of the plate.
“I need to continue to throw it,” he said. “To trust it 100 percent you need to practice. I want to throw that pitch in whatever situation and know I can throw it where ever I want.”
For all his pitches, including a sinker that he said had too much movement Saturday, Perez is working on staying focused for his second year in the league.
“I know a little bit more about the league and the hitters and I’m more hungry,” he said. “More experience. I know more about pitching and that’s good for me.
His work ethic is fine, manager Ron Washington said, but added young players often need to be reminded of what works for them.
“He has work ethic. But just like any young kid, you have to stay on top of them. And Jose [Vazquez] and the guys in the training room are doing a good job of staying on top of him. We’ve got to lead him to the water. We can’t just let him go to the water and then he decides whether he’s going to drink. We’ll lead him to the water and push his head in the water.”