Martin Perez' run with the Texas Rangers has been an absolute rollercoaster. His first stint ended in 2018 with a 6.22 ERA. He dazzled with by far the best year of his career when he returned with a 2.89 ERA in 2022. And now he's fallen off again, being relegated to a mop-up role in the Rangers bullpen.
Those swings can take a mental toll on players. They all want to be great, and nobody wants to feel like an afterthought. So naturally, Perez isn't happy with the situation. But he's focused what he can control, and that's his attitude. He's being a consumate professional despite his frustrations.
Check out some of these revealing quotes from The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday:
"Anywhere they put me, I’m going to do the job I’m asked and control the things I can control. I come to the park every day to compete, get ready and will wait for the moment."- Martin Perez
That one may seem like a bit of a cliche athlete answer, but he went deeper and made it really clear that he's 100% serious about his commitment to being a great team player.
"They want to win; I want to win ... I’m not 21 anymore. They don’t have to worry about how I’ll respond. I have two kids. I don’t want them to think their father didn’t respond well or was a bad teammate."- Martin Perez
The 32-year-old Perez was pulled from the rotation following a four-start stretch that saw him give up a combined 17 earned runs in 18 innings.
His new role is not a sexy one. He’s pitched 1.0 and 2.0 innings in his two appearances, and both times he was simply asked to close out games that had already been decided. But he went out there and did his job. And he did it well, giving up only 1 hit in those 3 innings.
He won't be the difference-maker in a World Series run, but keeping this attitude can keep him on the roster and could absolutely be what gets him a World Series.
And that's not only something Perez wants, but it's something Texas fans would love to see for him. Of course we want a Wolrd Series in general, but it's hard not to have a soft spot for Perez. Originally an undrafted free agent for the Rangers in 2007, he's been around this organization for a long time. Even though his play has often not been up to the standard we've wanted to see, he's kept a great outlook on things, and that made his incredible 2022 season all the more fun.
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