The beeping sound you hear is the Blue Jays season on life support as they limp into Arlington to try and begin their three-game win streak. The man looking to stop him will be left-handed starting pitcher Martin Perez, pronounced Mar-TEEN, who will be facing off against Marco Estrada.
Perez was signed from Venezuela in 2007 and quickly became on the top prospects around. He made his major league debut with Texas back in 2012 and didn't really stake his claim to a big league job, going back and forth between the Rangers and the minor leagues for a while. He went down to Tommy John surgery in 2014 and only rejoined the rotation in mid-July this year, pitching pretty well. He gave up eight runs in one inning to the Yankees back on July 28 which makes his 4.46 ERA look just a little bit worse than it should. Perez doesn't blow anyone away, but he gets a ton of ground balls and gives up a minuscule amount of home runs which is a pretty good strategy for success. His BABIP has always been pretty high, meaning his FIP is consistently lower than his actual ERA.
Perez's repertoire mainly features a fastball in the low-90's, along with a slider against same-handed hitters and a changeup added into the mix against RHH. The 195 lb. lefty hasn't had big strikeout numbers since Double-A, but his sinker and changeup work perfectly off of each other with their 8 mph of velocity difference and similar movement.
In his four years of major league time (54 appearances), Perez has never faced the Blue Jays in any fashion. That being said, Josh Donaldson faced the southpaw 16 times in his Oakland days and got on base on 8 of those occasions including a home run. Funnily enough, pretty much every player that has faced Perez at least 15 times has absolutely dominated the Venezuelan making you think that his left-handed deceptiveness fades away after a while.
The six foot Perez has never pitched in a postseason game, but he actually started game 163 in 2013 for the Rangers against the Rays. Although Texas lost the game and failed to qualify for the playoffs, Perez allowed only three earned runs over 5.1 innings. David Price started in that game as well, allowing just two runs in a complete game outing. That's right. David "#sobad in the playoffs" Price dominated in a postseason environment. Maybe six games is a bit too small of a sample to say a guy isn't good during a certain time of year.
Martin Perez has the usual splits for a lefty pitcher despite his good changeup, meaning Chris Colabello definitely has to start this game. Also, Ryan Goins and Ben Revere should not be hitting back-to-back in the ninth and leadoff spots.
- Ben Revere LF
- Josh Donaldson 3B
- Jose Bautista RF
- Edwin Encarnacion DH
- Troy Tulowitzki SS
- Chris Colabello 1B
- Dioner Navarro C
- Ryan Goins 2B
- Kevin Pillar CF