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Perez placed on DL with right elbow discomfort

Lefty dealing with pain in non-pitching arm from offseason ranch accident
Special to MLB.com @benweinrib

CLEVELAND -- Right elbow discomfort during his past two starts has bothered Martin Perez enough to the point that the Rangers placed the left-hander on the 10-day disabled list Monday.

Perez flew back to Dallas to have his non-throwing elbow examined by doctors, and the Rangers recalled reliever Jose Leclerc from Triple-A Round Rock in his stead to bolster the bullpen. A full examination confirmed inflammation, and Perez will undergo treatment and rest.

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CLEVELAND -- Right elbow discomfort during his past two starts has bothered Martin Perez enough to the point that the Rangers placed the left-hander on the 10-day disabled list Monday.

Perez flew back to Dallas to have his non-throwing elbow examined by doctors, and the Rangers recalled reliever Jose Leclerc from Triple-A Round Rock in his stead to bolster the bullpen. A full examination confirmed inflammation, and Perez will undergo treatment and rest.

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Perez missed much of the offseason after breaking that same elbow after an accident at his ranch in Venezuela. Perez worked hard to beat an initial prognosis that claimed he would miss the first month of the season, but the lefty rebounded quickly enough to make his first start on April 4. However, he has struggled to the tune of a 9.67 ERA in five starts over 22 1/3 innings.

"One of the things we've talked about previously is how important the front side of the delivery is," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Any time there's something like this, quite possibly affecting it, then yeah it has a chance to affect all of [his mechanics]."

The discomfort also left Perez with limited grip strength in his glove hand which bothered him, but the training staff was pleased to find his right elbow to be intact.

Perez's average fastball velocity has been down to 91.4 mph after posting a career-high 93.2 mph in 2017. General manager Jon Daniels speculated that the injury likely affected Perez's velocity, and his inability to do his usual upper-body workouts during the offseason certainly didn't help.

The Rangers don't have an immediate need to fill a spot in the rotation with five starters on the Major League roster, and Leclerc has been very effective in relief. The 24-year-old, who was optioned on Friday, has not given up a run in 6 2/3 innings this season.

Could Minor move to regular rest?
While the Rangers do have five starters on their active roster, Mike Minor remains a bit of a question mark. The club has made sure to give him at least five days rest in each of his starts as he transitions from the bullpen back to the rotation, and his first start on four days rest could come Thursday.

"Mike has expressed an openness to it," Daniels said. "We've been very cautious with it. Tomorrow's May, but it's been the first month of the season. It's been somewhat of a cold winter. It's our first time through with him, and we chose to play it conservative. But that's something we will talk about."

Should the Rangers push Minor back a day -- Banister would not commit to a starter for Thursday -- No. 7 prospect Yohander Mendez would be an option for a spot start, as he is on the 40-man roster. Austin Bibens-Dirkx and Yovani Gallardo are also options, but the club would need to clear a roster spot for them.

Injury updates
• Second baseman Rougned Odor, who is recovering from a left hamstring strain, took batting practice and fielded ground balls for the first time Monday. He will ramp up intensity with drills before going on a short rehab assignment.

• Right-hander Tim Lincecum is expected to appear in extended spring camp games this weekend, although they will not count towards a rehab assignment. He is currently on the 60-day DL with a blister on his right middle finger.

Ben Weinrib is a contributor to MLB.com.

Texas Rangers, Martin Perez