'An honor' for Pérez to rep Texas as All-Star

First-time selection enjoying career year at 31, going 7-2 with a 2.72 ERA in 17 starts

July 11th, 2022

ARLINGTON -- It’s been a hectic but joyful weekend for Rangers starting pitcher Martín Pérez.

On Saturday afternoon, Pérez started in Texas’ comeback win over the Twins at Globe Life Field. Later that night, he proposed to his longtime girlfriend in front of their family and friends. Then on Sunday morning, he arrived at the ballpark to learn he had been named to the American League pitching staff for the 2022 MLB All-Star Game set to take place in Los Angeles on July 19. Pérez is the Rangers’ lone representative on this year’s team.

“I did give the ring to my fiancée last night,” Pérez said. “And then I come here and I've got the envelope with the All-Star Game [announcement]. It’s really amazing. Everything just came together. Everything is going the right way. So I'm really happy with my life now. It's really good.”

When asked prior to Sunday's game if Pérez should make the AL All-Star team, manager Chris Woodward simply chuckled.

“Why shouldn't he?” Woodward said. “That’s the best question to ask. He’s been one of the best pitchers in baseball in the first half in every way. The numbers show that. The start he got off to, it was like he was pretty much unhittable for a while. That's what All-Stars are. They’re the best in the league, and that's what he's been all year.”

Pérez’s Texas homecoming has been better than anybody expected, and he was rewarded for it on Sunday.

The southpaw has been a dominant force on the mound for the Rangers this season, going 7-2 with a 2.72 ERA in 17 starts. He was named the AL Pitcher of the Month in May, when he led all qualified starters with a 0.64 ERA to go with 33 strikeouts over six starts. That month, he also had three scoreless starts, including a shutout of the Astros in Houston on May 20.

Pérez will get one more start before the All-Star break in a matchup with the Mariners at home next weekend.

“I don't know where we'd be without him, is the best way to put it,” Woodward said. “Especially with a young team and a bunch of young starters, and what he's done from a leadership standpoint. He’s showing guys how to pitch and how to behave, how to deal with the way to execute pitches in games.

“Then it’s also the conversations off the field, in the clubhouse, in the dugout. With all the things he's been through in his career, how he's kind of putting everything together, it’s invaluable for us as an organization right now.”

Texas originally signed Pérez out of Venezuela in 2007. He was the club’s top prospect in ’12, and he made his MLB debut soon thereafter. He spent the first seven years of his big league career with the Rangers before playing for Minnesota in '19 and for Boston in '20-21 before signing with Texas again this past March.

“It was good to know that I'm going to represent the Texas Rangers in the All Star Game,” Pérez said. “I wasn’t thinking about it, I was just trying to focus on pitching. So I’m happy to have a chance to go out there and represent my family, my teammates and the organization. It’s an honor for me to come back to Texas in my [10th] season. Doing what I've been doing is amazing. I was really happy and I'm going to enjoy that time there.

“I think God gives you things when you’re in the right position. I'm 31 years old and I learned a lot from a lot of people. It’s great for me to go out there and represent Texas.”