Prospects Matthews, Perez on comeback trail

BALTIMORE -- Two former top pitching prospects are trying to get their careers revived in the lower levels of the Rangers' farm system after major injuries ruined their 2013 season. David Perez is off to a better start than Kevin Matthews.

Perez, who is still just 21 and missed most of the past two seasons because of Tommy John surgery, has not allowed a run in his first four appearances for Class A Spokane in the Northwest League. In five innings he has allowed one hit and four walks while striking out three.

Matthews was the Rangers' first-round pick (33rd overall) in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft who missed all of last season because of surgery on his left shoulder. He is currently with the Arizona Rookie League Rangers and in three appearances he has allowed nine runs on 11 hits and five walks. Like Perez, Matthews is just 21 years old after being drafted out of high school.

Matthews and University of Georgia outfielder Zach Cone were the Rangers' compensation picks in the 2011 draft for losing free agent pitcher Cliff Lee to the Phillies. Cone, whose career has also been set back by a major injury, is hitting .191 at Spokane.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.