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June 29, 2012

Friday's Rangers notes: Martin Perez picked as Saturday starter; Ogando to rehab as reliever

Martin Perez made his major league debut on Wednesday. He lasted only two-thirds of an inning, allowing four runs (one earned).

But Perez is the team's top pitching prospect, and the Rangers believe he's ready to make his first start in the big leagues. Perez was named the starter for Saturday against Oakland.

Manager Ron Washington likes the left-handed matchup against the A's lineup.

Perez went 5-5 with a 4.59 ERA in 15 starts at Triple A Round Rock. Left-handers have batted only .225 against him, while right-handers had a .262 average.

Perez signed with the Rangers as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2007.

Here are a few other notes from Friday:

* Alexi Ogando, on the disabled list with a right groin strain since June 12, played long toss today, and will rehab as a reliever. "He's going to the bullpen [when he returns]," manager Ron Washington said. Ogando has yet to throw off a mound, but the team is hoping he'll be ready to go after the All-Star break.

* Neftali Feliz, meanwhile, has been playing long toss, although he has not thrown off a mound yet. Ron Washington expects Feliz to begin his rehab as a starter, and, when he's ready to return, the team will then make a decision on whether he'll be a starter or reliever.

* Koji Uehara played long toss today, and let loose. "He aired it out a little bit," Ron Washington said. The hope is for Uehara to throw off a mound at some point next week.

* The Rangers took batting practice in the cages for the third consecutive day. The team makes that decision based on the temperature, and feels it's a way to keep the players fresher come game time. They will take batting practice on the field on Saturday. 

-- Drew Davison


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