Rangers left-hander Martin Perez will be sidelined for at least one start after an MRI revealed inflammation in his left elbow. He reported discomfort after Saturday's start against Boston.
Perez will not travel to Houston, and there is a chance that he'll wind up on the disabled list, the team announced after Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Red Sox. No structural damage has been detected, but the club is playing it by ear.
The 23-year-old struggled for the third straight game Saturday. He gave up six runs in 3.2 innings. Perez hasn’t made it out of the fifth inning since the second of his back-to-back complete game shutouts on April 23.
Nick Tepesch was scratched from his start for triple-A Round Rock Sunday and is the likely starter for Wednesday’s game, which would be Yu Darvish’s next start. Darvish will slide back to Perez’s next scheduled start Friday after an off day.
Moving Darvish back gives him an extra day of rest after throwing 126 pitches in 8.2 innings of one-hit baseball Friday night.
The elbow discomfort could have something to do with the recent struggles for Perez. Manager Ron Washington said before Sunday’s game, though, that his young lefty has been over thinking things on the mound in his recent starts.
“Sometimes when you face adversity you start thinking. Sometimes the thoughts that come in your head shouldn’t be there,” he said. “As a coach, you don’t know what thoughts are going through their head.
“The game started moving a little fast for him. Once he slows it back down and starts believing in his stuff, he’ll get back to where he needs to be,” he said.
Wash said the key with his young pitcher is to maintain patience.
“I think when you’re dealing with youth or dealing with guys who haven’t had a lot of failure, if you don’t have patience you can destroy them more,” he said.
“We believe in him. He just needs to believe in himself. Whether he’s good or bad, he’s my guy. So I’m going to stay in the trenches with him.”
Tepesch, who has a 1.58 ERA and a 41:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 45.2 innings at triple-A this season, is the front-runner to fill in should Perez be on the shelf for an extended period of time.