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Perez eager to avoid opening season on DL

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Martin Perez threw a bullpen session on Tuesday, the fourth one he has thrown in his preparation for Spring Training.

It is further proof to Perez that he will be ready to be in the rotation at the start of the season. That would beat the original projections of mid-to-late April, as he finished his recovery from a broken radial bone in his right (non-throwing) elbow.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Martin Perez threw a bullpen session on Tuesday, the fourth one he has thrown in his preparation for Spring Training.

It is further proof to Perez that he will be ready to be in the rotation at the start of the season. That would beat the original projections of mid-to-late April, as he finished his recovery from a broken radial bone in his right (non-throwing) elbow.

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"I'm good," Perez said. "I'm on my regular program. I can't catch ground balls, but I don't need to catch ground balls. I just need to make sure my arm is ready."

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The Rangers are far from ready to pronounce Perez will be ready for the start of the season. He still needs to face hitters and make a few starts here in Arizona. But Perez doesn't see that as a problem.

"I'm ready," Perez said. "They know what I can do. I don't have to convince those guys."

Perez was 13-12 with a 4.82 ERA in 32 starts last season, but finished strong by going 8-2 with a 3.71 ERA in his last 11 outings. The Rangers are hoping he can build off that.

Video: Martin Perez injures non-throwing elbow at his ranch

Gonzalez, Palumbo limited: Rangers pitchers Joe Palumbo and Chi Chi Gonzalez will be limited in Spring Training while they are recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstructions. Palumbo had his surgery on April 26 and is throwing long toss at 125 feet. The best-case scenario for him is returning at the end of June or early July.

Gonzalez is two months behind. He had his surgery on July 24 and is out to 75 feet in his sixth week of a throwing program. He probably won't be back to full strength until September.

Gonzalez was the Rangers' first-round pick in 2013 out of Oral Roberts University. Palumbo was taken in the 30th round the same year, but was rising fast in the Rangers system. He had a 0.66 ERA in three starts at Class A Advanced Down East last year before suffering his elbow injury.

Rangers beat
• The Rangers will have 38 pitchers in camp once they officially announce the signing of pitcher Seung Hwan Oh. Palumbo, Gonzalez and Shawn Tolleson are the only ones that are limited.

Bartolo Colon, 44, is the oldest pitcher in camp. The youngest is right-hander Jonathan Hernandez, who is 21.

• Rangers pitcher Chris Martin has yet to report, but is expected to be at the first workout on Thursday. He is still in Texas celebrating the birth of his daughter, Kolbi.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

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