"Martin... I'm sorry. We couldn't save the elbow, and now it's up to you." (Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE)
The Red Sox were supposed to face starting pitcher Colby Lewis in Tuesday night's game against the Texas Rangers, but Lewis is back on the disabled list less than a week after returning from it. Lewis will have season-ending surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his elbow, a huge blow to a Rangers' pitching staff that's already dealing with a multitude of injuries. Lewis was leading the AL in both K/BB and walk rate, and his 130 ERA+ was second among active Rangers starters, behind only Matt Harrison.
In Lewis' place, the Rangers will start rookie Martin Perez. The 21-year-old Venezuelan has already started two games and appeared in two others in 2012, posting a 5.54 ERA in 13 innings, along with nine strikeouts, six walks, and a homer. He was the #31 prospect in the game heading into the year, according to Baseball America, and Baseball Prospectus's Kevin Goldstein didn't differ much from that, placing the left-hander at #36.
Perez is having a rough year in the minors as well, though. His current 1.3 K/BB is the worst of his professional career, and he's striking out just 5.2 batters per nine. All told, he owns a 5.25 ERA and 1.5 K/BB in 135 frames at Triple-A, between 2011 and 2012. He's very clearly not ready for the majors just yet, but with Lewis now out, Neftali Feliz on the 60-day DL, options are starting to become a bit more limited.
They still have Scott Feldman, but he started against the Red Sox on Monday. Alexi Ogando just came back from his own DL stint, missing 28 games with a groin strain, and it seems as if the Rangers are more comfortable with him in the bullpen for at least the moment. With the club preferring to just keep rookie Robbie Ross in the bullpen where he's produced, that leaves Perez, struggles and all, to fill the current void.