Think you know who the Texas Rangers’ surprise player is after six weeks? The Athletic has an answer.
The site published a surprise player for each Major League team on Wednesday, and their selection was Rangers pitcher Martín Pérez.
Pérez broke in with the Rangers in 2012, but was with Minnesota and Boston from 2019-21 before rejoining the franchise this season.
The Athletic’s logic? Pérez hasn’t had an earned run average lower than 4.40 since 2015. The left-hander hadn’t won 10 or more games since he went 10-7 for Minnesota in 2019. Last season with Boston he went 7-8 with a 4.74 ERA and started 36 games.
The Rangers grabbed him by signing him to a one-year, $4 million deal in the offseason. Texas was looking for pitching depth, and there was some comfort in knowing that Pérez’s best seasons came with Texas. In 2016 and 2017 he won a combined 25 games.
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What has Pérez done? He’s 2-2 with a 2.01 ERA in seven starts and 40 1/3 innings. He’s given up just nine runs. He’s also struck out 33, while walking just 11.
If the season ended today, Pérez would have the best single-season ERA of his career. His lowest ERA was 3.62 with Texas in 2013, when he went 10-6 in his second MLB season.
Pérez seems to have recaptured something with the Rangers, and he’ll get another chance to prove it during the Rangers’ four-game road set with the Houston Astros, which starts on Thursday.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard