Thanksgiving In Arlington

Perez
August is winding down and, begrudgingly, the holidays will eventually get to us yet again in about three months. One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving and I feel like thanksgiving should be here right now in Rangers Nation, namely due to two guys who have stepped up in big ways in this wild ride of a season.
Martin Perez, as we all know, was slated to be the temporary starter to take over as Colby Lewis was preparing for his eventual comeback in 2013. Fate/Luck/The baseball gods had other plans for Lewis and even Matt Harrison this season, so here we are now with Perez firmly entrenched in the starting rotation. He’s 22 years old, and truth be told, is gaining more confidence with each start and learning fairly quickly, given the necessity of his presence and the direction of the season. The great thing about his current 3.48 ERA over 12 games/75 IP is that he’ll keep refining and improving his abilities and gain consistency. He hasn’t been spotless, lest we forget his 3 IP affair against Cleveland; but, he’s proven to be good for at least 5-6 IP each outing — also of note: he’s gone 7.1/6.1/9/7 innings in his 4 starts since the Cleveland outing and has given up only 7 runs total. He is a huge part of helping this team not only stay afloat, but also shows promise for the future of the rotation, which will boast Darvish, Holland, and Harrison as well. That stacks up to be a pretty formidable 1-4 and a point of pride for the Rangers.

There’s a saying that goes, “Better late than never.” This quote is a simple way to define, in my mind at least, the journey Leonys Martin has been on to establish his place on the team. He hasn’t totally arrived yet, but he is finally getting a chance to settle in and have consistency on his side. If you believe in home/road splits, he is much better at home (.317 AVG) vs. on the road (.228 AVG); also, he likes to hit opposite field and has an affinity for hitting best in low leverage counts. Where he compensates is his bunting. He is capable of sacrifice bunting, but also bunting for a hit as well. Once he gets on base, he’s a speedster, stealing 27 bases in 35 chances so far. If he stays in the lead-off spot, which I believe he should, he’ll continue to be a threat… and just wait until he totally feels comfortable with his bat! He’s also consistently working on small elements of his defense and is getting a good feel for the Ballpark and all that comes with patrolling center field there. It’s been a fun ride so far seeing him finally get his chances; this is only the beginning and it will be even better the longer he plays.

The whole team is on fire and is doing great things. Our “favorite Martins” (as they’re colloquially called, thanks to Mr. Jamey Newberg) are doing important things this season to help the Rangers and they should be applauded for their efforts thus far on the field and the energy and enthusiasm they bring to each game as they cheer on their teammates as well. They are rewarding the faith placed in them by many in the front office and the coaching staff and should continue to do so for many years.

Sarah Powers is a Staff Writer for ShutDowninning.com. She can be reached at sarah.powers@shutdowninning.com or on Twitter @Power_Play86.
Sarah Powers

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