Maybe the corner doesn’t exist on any Google map that Martin Perez’s career is supposed to turn down. Maybe a brick wall is all he is destined to run into.
Maybe after 108 games over six seasons, he is what he is, and it’s delusional to think he will be anything else.
Maybe those occasional moments of brilliance are overshadowed by more common flashes of mediocrity.
Maybe a career 4.51 ERA is not simply the result of a short sample size. Maybe he’s not going to improve. Maybe he’s not going to figure it out. His 5.46 ERA is third worse in Major League Baseball this year, ranked 70 out of 73 starters. Last season he was a slightly better 51 out of 74.
Maybe 2013 was a fluke, an aberration. It was the only year he had an ERA under 4.00. The only year he had a winning percentage over .600, at 10-6 (in fact, he has had just two winning seasons, 2013 and barely in 2014 when he went 4-3.)
Maybe his uncanny ability to generate double plays doesn’t mean a thing when at the same time he has an uncanny knack for generating multiple-run innings. He’s not preventing damage, he’s preventing further damage. The tornado already devastated the house. He’s just saving the remote from getting lost.
Maybe his career WHIP of 1.456 is never going to improve. It’s 1.667 this season, so he seems to be going the wrong way. Only Ranger-killer Wade Miley is worse this year than Perez.
Maybe the fact that he averages fewer than six innings per start speaks volumes about his real impact on the team. He is a serial bullpen killer.
Maybe his career comps to notable major league pitchers like Marty Bystrom, Wade LeBlank, Ron Romanick, and Jim Hughes means Perez won’t be a pitcher anyone will remember fondly, if at all, after he retires.
Maybe this isn’t just a bad season Martin Perez is having. Maybe this is finally the proof someone needs that Martin Perez doesn’t belong in a major league rotation at all.
And maybe, just maybe, the Rangers front office will figure that out some day.
Cole Hamels (5-1, 4.01) vs. Kyle Gibson (6-8, 6.08)
Game time: 6:10