ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have decided to go with rookie left-hander Martin Perez against the Athletics on Saturday. Perez, ranked as the 23rd best prospect by MLB.com, has made one relief appearance since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock, but this will be his first big league start.
Perez was chosen over right-hander Justin Grimm because manager Ron Washington said a left-hander matches up better against the Athletics. Going into Friday's game, the Athletics were 10-14 when facing a left-handed starter and 27-26 when a right-hander starts the game on the mound.
"I feel great. ... They are giving me this opportunity and I want to do the job," Perez said. "I want to do the same thing I did in Spring Training: throw the ball over the plate and see what happens."
The Rangers haven't committed to Perez beyond this one start. The next time it would be his turn to pitch would be July 6 against the Twins, but the Rangers are undecided on that game.
"It will be start to start," Washington said. "He's not going to be etched in stone. Put him down in pencil."
The Rangers could let Perez make that start, or they could move up Yu Darvish one day and have him pitch on his normal four days' rest. Darvish is starting on Sunday, and the Rangers are off on Monday. Roy Oswalt, Scott Feldman and Matt Harrison are scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday against the White Sox.
If Darvish pitches on July 6, that would allow the Rangers to take Derek Holland off the disabled list and start on July 7. Holland is scheduled to make his second rehab start on Monday at Round Rock.
"That's a possibility," Washington said. "But, once again, write it in pencil. It's nothing you can write in ink."
Perez pitched two-thirds of an inning on Tuesday in his Major League debut, allowing four runs, but only one was earned. He was 5-5 with a 4.59 ERA in 15 starts at Round Rock.