Add this one to the “crazy baseball injuries” pile – Texas Rangers pitcher Martin Perez will likely miss Opening Day this season after breaking his radial head (which is an arm bone near the elbow) after what Dallas Morning News reporter Evan Grant deemed an “incident with a bull”.
Martin Perez suffered broken radial head in non-pitching elbow in incident with a bull. Had surgery last week. Prolly out until May 1.
— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) December 19, 2017
Why is Martin Perez doing anything with bulls, even if it’s the offseason? He’s making $6 million in 2018 with the Rangers, and the team has two more club options on him for the 2019 and 2020 seasons that could pay him another $16.5 million. If that sort of money is on the line, maybe – JUST MAYBE – don’t screw around with bulls?
Perez had his second straight healthy season for the Rangers in 2017, throwing 185 innings over 32 starts. However, his overall production wasn’t too strong – Perez pitched to a 4.82 ERA over those 32 starts, striking out just 115 and walking 63. His strikeout rate of 14.2% and strikeout to walk ratio of 1.83 were the fourth-lowest among all 58 qualified starters in baseball (but not as bad as teammate Andrew Cashner’s 12.2% and 1.34), and only five qualified starters had a worse ERA than Perez.
The Texas rotation was in a precarious position before Perez got hurt, given that Cashner is a free agent and Yu Darvish was traded at the deadline last year. Cole Hamels returns, but the soon-to-be 34-year old had his worst season in 2017. Nick Martinez and AJ Griffin, who combined to make 33 starts with ERAs near 6.00, were both non-tendered. Texas did acquire Matt Moore from the Giants and has already signed Mike Minor and Doug Fister as free agents, but Moore had an ugly 2017 with San Francisco, Minor spent all of 2017 in the bullpen with the Royals (and should stay there in 2018), and Fister made just 15 starts (and three relief appearances) with Boston and had an ERA near 5.00.
Texas didn’t go into full-blown sell mode at the trade deadline last season, and they’re still half in and half out going into 2018. It could be argued that they’re the fourth-best team in the AL West, and if they’re struggling to contend for a Wild Card spot come July, we could start seeing players like Hamels, Minor, Fister, Moore, relievers, and perhaps even Adrian Beltre hit the trade market.