May 2, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Justin Grimm (51) throws a pitch in the 5th inning of the against the Chicago White Sox at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The White Sox beat the Rangers 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers: Colby Lewis, Martin Perez Close to Return


The Texas Rangers have had a lot of success on the mound early in the 2013 season. Despite losing ace lefty Matt Harrison, the Rangers lead the league in ERA, (3.21), and sit 3rd in starter ERA, (3.30).

Harry’s setback wasn’t the first devastating injury to a starter this calendar year. Probable fifth starter Martin Perez got hit in the wrist with a line drive March 3 that fractured his forearm, setting the Rangers’ rotation on a tailspin heading into the season.

Fortunately, the Rangers farm system stepped up.

Justin Grimm and Nick Tepesch filled in nicely for Perez, and even made a few statements along the way while filling the void left by Harrison.

Now, Perez is on his way back. And more importantly playoff workhorse Colby Lewis is slated to make his first rehab start.

Perez pitched for Double-A Frisco Monday night. He threw 53 pitches in four innings. He allowed five hits and a run while striking out one and walking none.

Perez made a few appearances for the Rangers last season, and was a frontrunner to make the rotation after Lewis and Neftali Feliz went on the Disabled List last season.

Lewis is scheduled to make his first rehab appearance Thursday in Round Rock.

Lewis is recovering from surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his throwing arm. The injury required Lewis to miss the last half of the 2012 season plus the beginning of 2013.

In the meantime, Tepesch and Grimm have done their job. The young righties are a combined 4-4 and have a 4.50 and 2.28 ERA respectively. Grimm won AL Rookie of the Month honors for April while Tepesch has impressed with his ability to command the strike zone and work around trouble.

When Lewis and Perez return, look for the rotation to become stronger. The only issue the Rangers face is, where will they put all these arms?

An envy most GMs wish they could share.

Notes:
Lewis and Perez probably need abut 4 rehab starts to be ready … Of Perez’s 53 pitches Monday, 34 were for strikes … Jon Daniels has set a June 1st timetable for Lewis to return to the Rangers rotation, barring a setback … Feliz is expected to start light throwing from flat ground in late June, his timetable is sometime in August.

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