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Perez nearing return, to throw 'pen on Saturday

Lefty has been on DL since March 26; Pelham, Taveras picked for Futures Game
MLB.com

DETROIT -- Manager Jeff Banister wouldn't commit to a timetable for the return of Martin Perez to the starting rotation, but both he and Perez sounded optimistic Friday before the Rangers' game against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

Perez made his third rehab start Thursday for Triple-A Round Rock, throwing 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball and striking out six. He threw 87 pitches and 58 strikes. Perez has a 0.52 ERA through those three starts.

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DETROIT -- Manager Jeff Banister wouldn't commit to a timetable for the return of Martin Perez to the starting rotation, but both he and Perez sounded optimistic Friday before the Rangers' game against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

Perez made his third rehab start Thursday for Triple-A Round Rock, throwing 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball and striking out six. He threw 87 pitches and 58 strikes. Perez has a 0.52 ERA through those three starts.

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"The report was that his stuff was good," Banister said. "It was sharp. The changeup played well for him. His sinker was there."

Perez has been on the disabled list since March 26, after experiencing a nerve issue as a side effect of offseason surgery to repair his fractured in his right (non-throwing) elbow.

Perez was in Detroit on Friday and told reporters that he was told it could take up to 12 months for his elbow to feel normal again.

"But now I feel good," Perez said. "It'll be sore for a couple days, but not painful how it was before. I don't feel that anymore."

As he goes through his normal throwing program, the next step for Perez will be throwing a bullpen session on Saturday.

"We need for him to be able to defend himself," Banister said. "The buildup has been good for him at this point."

Pelham, Traveras selected to Futures Game
Pitcher C.D. Pelham and outfielder Leody Taveras were selected to the All-Star Futures Game, which features the Minor Leagues' top prospects.

Banister had especially high praise for Pelham, a left-handed reliever, who was drafted by the Rangers in the 33rd round of the 2015 Draft.

"I'll tell you what, you can dream on him," Banister said. "The body, all of it. It works well."

The 6-foot-6 Pelham has spent most of this season pitching for the Rangers' Class A Advanced Down East Wood Ducks in the Carolina League, but was promoted in late June to Double-A Frisco. He has a 2.30 ERA in 28 appearances between the two teams and is 11-for-11 in save opportunities.

Banister said he saw Pelham pitch in the spring and compared him to former Major League pitcher Dave Stewart.

"He didn't say a word," Banister said. "Just took the baseball and let loose."

Pelham, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Rangers' No. 19 prospect, will be representing the U.S. Team.

• Top 30 Rangers prospects

Taveras, representing the World Team, is the top-ranked Rangers prospect. He has been playing this season with Down East, hitting .245 in 306 at-bats with 29 RBIs.

Video: Top Prospects: Leodys Taveras, OF, Rangers

MLB.com will live stream and MLB Network will exclusively televise the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at 4 p.m. ET, with Greg Amsinger, Harold Reynolds, Lauren Shehadi and Jim Callis calling the contest live from Nationals Park. The game will also be available to SiriusXM subscribers.

Gallo scratched with eye issue
Joey Gallo was scratched from the Rangers' lineup Thursday with a left eye contusion. Gallo collided with Delino DeShields in the outfield during batting practice before the game and had blurred vision, according to the Rangers. Ryan Rua made the start in left field.

Tyler Fenwick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.

Texas Rangers, Joey Gallo, Martin Perez