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Perez nearly ready for rehab assignment

Rangers reliever reports no issues with non-throwing arm
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

KANSAS CITY -- Rangers left-hander Martin Perez threw approximately 75 pitches without any issues on Wednesday and he is hoping to be sent out on a rehab assignment on Monday.

Perez is on the 60-day disabled list with nerve irritation in his right arm and he hasn't pitched in a game since April 30. Perez has had no problems with his throwing arm; this process has been all about getting his right arm back into shape.

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KANSAS CITY -- Rangers left-hander Martin Perez threw approximately 75 pitches without any issues on Wednesday and he is hoping to be sent out on a rehab assignment on Monday.

Perez is on the 60-day disabled list with nerve irritation in his right arm and he hasn't pitched in a game since April 30. Perez has had no problems with his throwing arm; this process has been all about getting his right arm back into shape.

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Perez suffered a broken bone in the tip of his right elbow in the offseason. He was able to return by early April, but he had to shut it down after five starts because of the pain in the right arm. That's why the Rangers want to take extra time and make sure Perez is good to go.

"Everything is good," Perez said. "No pain in my arm. It's exciting. I want to get back to pitching and helping my team, compete with my teammates and win."

Perez threw batting practice to outfielders Delino DeShields and Carlos Tocci, and catcher Robinson Chirinos.

"I thought he threw the ball OK," manager Jeff Banister said. "Most important was he was able to hit his targeted number of pitches and he was able to repeat his delivery. From the reaction of the hitters, there were some quality pitches inside the set. He looks like a guy ready to take the next step."

Perez will likely throw a bullpen session in Minnesota this weekend before the Rangers make a final decision on a rehab assignment.

"If all goes well and the medical staff signs off on it, that will be the next step," Banister said.

Martin close to return
Reliever Chris Martin could come off the disabled list when he is eligible on Friday. He also threw batting practice on Wednesday without issue and he said everything went well.

Video: TEX@CWS: Martin strikes out Garcia in the 8th

Martin is sidelined with soreness in his right calf and knee.

"He is close," Banister said. "See how the knee responds, the arm was never an issue. Can he cover first base? Can he field the bunt? Right now, all that checks off real good. We'll see how he feels on Friday."

Summer reading program underway
Martin will be reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar at 12:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday at the Arlington Public Library. He will be joined by broadcaster Eric Nadel who is once again serving as the honorary chairman of the Texas Rangers Summer Reading Program.

Along with television reporter Emily Jones, they will be making reading appearances over the next several weeks at Dallas-Fort Worth libraries participating in the program. This is the 18th year the Rangers have sponsored the Summer Reading program.

All students in grades K through 12 are eligible, and information and reading logs are available at any of the participating libraries. Students are asked to record the number of minutes they read from Monday through Friday over a four-week period on the reading log to become an official summer Reading Club All-Star.

All Reading Club participants are eligible for discounted tickets and a pregame parade for the Rangers' home game with the Angels on Friday, Aug. 17. For more information on the Summer Reading program, please call 817-273-5137.

Rangers beat
• The Rangers elected to start Austin Bibens-Dirkx on Wednesday rather than bring Matt Moore out of the bullpen. Moore is in the 'pen to work on some issues and the club liked the way he threw on Friday when he allowed one run over three innings against the Rockies.

"We would like to continue that process," Banister said. "Matt made significant progress in his last outing. We like the look of it. With Matt in that role, it allows me to use [Jesse Chavez] in a significant role later in the game."

Video: DET@TEX: Diekman strikes out Jones to escape trouble

• Reliever Jake Diekman entered Wednesday's game having not allowed a run over 9 1/3 innings in his past 10 outings. Banister said it has been Diekman's "best stretch" while with the Rangers.

• The Rangers received back-to-back wins from starters Bartolo Colon and Cole Hamels on Monday and Tuesday after getting just one win from a starter over their previous 20 games.

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.

Texas Rangers, Jake Diekman, Chris Martin, Martin Perez