Rangers to evaluate Perez during start vs. M's
Left-hander will start Sunday's finale; Tingler to finish season as bench coach
ARLINGTON -- Left-hander Martin Perez is getting one more chance to pitch out of the rotation and possibly convince the Rangers to pick up his $7.5 million option.
Perez is going to start on Sunday against the Mariners and again next Saturday in Seattle after making his last six appearances out of the bullpen. Perez's last start was Aug. 25 against the Giants.
"It's just an evaluation," interim manager Don Wakamatsu said. "We have a decision to make on him, so we'll get another look as a starter."
The decision to give Perez another start was made before Friday's managerial change. Perez said he was told about the assignment by former manager Jeff Banister on Wednesday.
"It means they still believe in me," Perez said. "I think they know what I can do. I know what I can do."
Perez had a 2.45 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP since moving to the bullpen at the end of August. At the time, the Rangers told him they were unlikely to pick up his option for next season. That may be changing given Texas' desperate starting-pitching situation.
"I can't think about that," Perez said. "Just go out there and do my job, let everybody know I am healthy. Throw strikes, pitch like a reliever, how I threw the last three or four outings. Attack, that's the key."
Perez has been a starter for most of his career and is still determined to fill that role, whether the Rangers pick up his option or he moves on to another organization.
"Just because I've had a bad year doesn't mean I can't be a starter," Perez said. "People forget things quickly."
Plan for Beltre
Wakamatsu said the Rangers want Adrian Beltre to play on Sunday in the Rangers' final home game. After that, Texas will manage his playing time during the final week when they play in Anaheim and Seattle.
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He will play as will other veterans like Elvis Andrus and Shin-Soo Choo, it just won't be every day. There are also certain milestones for players to reach. Joey Gallo went into Saturday's game two short of 40 home runs for the second straight season.
"We want to finish strong and leave a positive note for next season," Wakamatsu said. "I'm not going to just turn it over to the young kids. These guys who have played the majority of the season, they need to play it out as much as possible."
• Assistant general manager Jayce Tingler will serve as the Rangers' bench coach under Wakamatsu for the final week. He was on Texas' bench as field coordinator in 2015-16 before taking his current responsibilities, which includes overseeing the farm system.
• Triple-A manager Jason Wood is also with the club.
• With Perez pitching on Sunday, Adrian Sampson is scheduled to start on Monday against the Angels. The Rangers have not announced a rotation beyond that.