It's been a tough week for the Rangers' starting rotation, as both Martin Perez and Matt Harrison have gone down with injuries, and been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
It appears that Perez will likely undergo Tommy John surgery, but the front office isn't going to talk about his situation until Saturday. Along with a displacement of a vertebra in his back, Harrison has significant nerve irritation in his lower back, and will have to decide if he wants to live with the condition, or undergo spinal fusion surgery.
'I've got to take it day to day and figure out what I want to do' said Harrison. 'I can't go out there and pitch the way I did last time. I mean, my back is still hurting from the other day. Obviously, it's not something I can pitch with right now.
Harrison will remain in Texas when the Rangers head out to Detroit, Minnesota, and D.C next week, to talk matters over with his wife, family, and more doctors. Having just recovered from another back surgery that took place last year, it's hard for Harrison to grasp the concept that his career could be over for good.
'I'm just still trying to wrap my head around what's going on at this point, and trying to let it sink it that it may have been my last game' said Harrison. 'It's just a tough situation. I hate it. I'd give every dollar back just to be the way I was in 2012 again.'
The new starting rotation
The Rangers announced a new starting rotation Friday as an adjustment to the loss of Perez and Harrison. Robbie Ross will pitch Saturday, followed by Nick Martinez on Sunday. Texas will have an off day Monday, followed by Colby Lewis on Tuesday and Nick Tepesch on Wednesday. Manager Ron Washington said that the decision to insert Martinez into the rotation as Sunday's starter, was largely centered around Lewis.
'We wanted to give Colby a couple extra days to recover' said Washington. 'With losing Harrison and Perez, we had to decided where to slot the replacement. So, we decided to put Martinez on Sunday.'
Martinez made two starts this year, at Tampa Bay and Oakland, before making the move to the bullpen. Sunday will not only be Martinez's first start at Globe Life Park, it will also show how he's able to make the adjustment from throwing a couple innings of relief, to hopefully, going six or seven innings.
'We're not sure how far Nick can take us' said Wash. 'We thought having him pitch before an off day would give the chance a bullpen to build up behind him.'
Though losing two teammates to injuries can be rough, Washington doesn't expect to see any sort of effect on his new starters, or the rest of the team for that matter. It will be tough for the Rangers to rebound from the loss of Perez and Harrison, but they are going to try their hardest.
'That doesn't affect professionals' said Wash. 'We gotta get 25 guys out there and play baseball. We gotta do our job. Sometimes there are circumstances you can't do anything about.'
All hail the lizard king
The Rangers recalled RHP Miles Mikolas from Triple-A Round Rock Wednesday, giving Derek Holland some competition for the most interesting man in the clubhouse. You see, Mikolas is infamous from his days in the Padres organization, and there's a good reason why.
'I was in the bullpen in the fall league and caught a lizard running around' said Mikolas. 'Bet's started, pot got a little higher and I kinda bit the bullet- or bit the lizard- so to speak.'
Yes, Mikolas ate a lizard for $250.00. The video was posted on Youtube, and the daredevil got a brief shot at fame, along with some much needed minor league money. Mikolas is a self-proclaimed wildlife expert, and didn't think the lizard looked all that dangerous, so he figured he'd give it a shot. Surprisingly, he doesn't think it was all that bad.
'I ate it so quick I honestly couldn't even taste it' said Mikolas. 'I think I might have even held my nose a little bit. I got three quick bites in there to kinda help it go down, but it went down pretty easily, then I drank a soda right after to help with the taste.'
Besides the obvious disgust and confusion, the free spirited Mikolas should leave Rangers fans with a bit of hope. After all, if a guy is willing to eat a lizard for $250, just imagine what he'll do for a major league contract.
'I'm never going to back down from a challenge, especially if there is some money on the line' said Mikolas. 'I'm going to go out there and give it all I got.'
In the meantime, if you have a pet lizard I don't suggest bringing it to Globe Life Park. Mikolas has gone on a raw food diet before, and says he might just do it again.