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Brocail pleased with Hamels, Perez in 'B' game

Veteran starters, reliever Bush face White Sox Minor League hitters
Special to MLB.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Cole Hamels made his first appearance of the spring on Monday, and Martin Perez made his last with the Rangers -- for a while.

Both starters, along with reliever Matt Bush, faced predominantly Minor Leaguers in the White Sox system on a back field at Camelback Ranch.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Cole Hamels made his first appearance of the spring on Monday, and Martin Perez made his last with the Rangers -- for a while.

Both starters, along with reliever Matt Bush, faced predominantly Minor Leaguers in the White Sox system on a back field at Camelback Ranch.

Hamels and Perez both fared well despite being at very different points in their preparations for the season. Hamels is taking his time, sticking to a long view schedule. Perez, meanwhile, will join Team Venezuela on Thursday and pitch against Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic on March 11.

Sporting a slightly bent-over set position that is a throwback to his younger days, Perez gave up three hits, two walks and struck out four in 4 1/3 scoreless innings.

"So far, so good," said Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail, who closely watched his three pitchers from behind home plate. "I didn't expect it this good this early. We know the curve doesn't have a ton of spin rate. It doesn't need spin rate when you get in that athletic position. Adding that has helped."

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Perez feels very confident in his new-old delivery and with his curveball, and he looks forward to giving them a true test in the Classic.

"I feel happy. I feel I'm going to have a good year. ... It's time to put everything together and do what the people [have] waited for me [to do]," said Perez, who called playing in the Classic a "big moment for me."

"I want to help the team to win," he said. "If I pitch to contact and do what I did today, I'm going to help the team."

Hamels, too, liked what he saw from the right-hander who figures to slot into the third spot in the rotation behind Hamels and Yu Darvish.

"I'm excited for him in this World Baseball Classic," Hamels said. "I think it's going to be fun for him."

Video: TEX@LAA: Perez ends 1st with double play

Hamels, meanwhile, was just looking to get the necessary work in during his two innings. The left-hander gave up three hits and three runs (two earned) and struck out two, throwing 30 pitches.

"It was good to get out on the mound and get in the game experience," Hamels said. "I threw some really good pitches and some others that were not so good. But that's what's really going to happen at this point.

Video: Outlook: Hamels needs to improve control in 2017

"We have a good schedule and we're trying to stick to it as much as possible. Knowing that the season starts April 3 and building up my workload for that day."

Brocail graded his ace's performance as such: "I needed 30 pitches, I got 30 pitches."

Hamels' next outing, expected to be Saturday, will come on "some back field somewhere," he said. Hamels made just three Cactus League appearances last year, pitching a total of 9 1/3 innings.

Worth noting

• Bush struck out all three hitters he faced, on 14 pitches. Without much effort, he was sitting at 97 mph with his fastball, Brocail said.

• Former TCU star and Rangers' 14th-round selection (2009) Matt Purke pitched two innings for the White Sox in the morning "B" game.

• The Rangers made their first round of roster cuts, optioning left-handers Andrew Faulkner and Yohander Mendez and right-hander Connor Sadzeck to Triple-A Round Rock, and reassigning righties Ariel Jurado and Jose Valdespina and lefty Adam Loewen to minor league camp.

Faulkner made the Opening Day roster a year ago and had a 6.75 ERA and .286 opponents' average in two stints in the Major Leagues.

"The coaching staff and front office decided it was time for Andrew to go get the work and continue the process of pitching," manager Jeff Banister said.

Chris Gabel is a contributor to MLB.com.

Texas Rangers, Matt Bush, Cole Hamels, Martin Perez