Perez likely 'leaning' toward Tommy John surgery
Left-hander to meet with Rangers officials this weekend to discuss options
ARLINGTON -- Rangers left-hander Martin Perez has told the Venezuelan newspaper LaVinotinto that he is going to have Tommy John surgery.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the club has not been officially informed of the decision, but he expects that is the way Perez is leaning. Daniels is expected to meet with Perez and his agent this weekend. Perez's agent, Felix Olivo, said on Twitter that the chances of surgery are high but a final decision has not been made.
"The way we left it is we're going to talk again this weekend," Daniels said. "I think he is leaning that way, but given the sheer number of surgeries in the industry, it's caused us to take a step back and look at the non-surgical options. I think that's where his head is at unless we find a viable alternative."
Perez was diagnosed with a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow this week. If Perez undergoes surgery, he is expected to be out at least one full year, and it will most likely be 2016 before he is back at full strength.
If Perez elects not to have surgery, he would likely still be out at least eight to 12 weeks.
The Rangers are also awaiting word from pitcher Matt Harrison if he will undergo spinal fusion surgery to relieve the pain and severe nerve pressure in his lower back. Harrison is expected to get an injection on Friday, and he is still weighing the possibility of trying to continue to pitch through the issue.
The recommendation from Dr. Drew Dossett is that Harrison undergo surgery, but he has also been told that the odds of full recovery and being able to pitch again are not favorable.
"The recommendation is pretty clear, but he just wants to take a step back," Daniels said. "There is a lot of information. This a significant deal for him ... and the club, but foremost for Matt and his family. He's got a choice to make. He going to take his time and make a decision."
Both players were placed on the disabled list Wednesday. Nick Tepesch has taken Perez's spot in the rotation and the Rangers are planning to move Nick Martinez into Harrison's slot.
Joe Saunders could be an option in the future, but he is still on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his left ankle and is likely to make three more starts on medical rehabilitation assignment while he works on some mechanical issues.
"The beat goes on," Daniels said. "Obviously, we have been dealt a blow, but we still have a lot of talent and faith in the guys on the club. Obviously, we need different guys to step up and take advantage of the opportunity, but we're not counting this club out. That's not just GM talk, this is not the way we drew it up, but we can still get it done."
• The Rangers have named Tepesch as the April winner of their Minor League Pitcher of the Month. Joey Gallo was the Player of the Month. Matt West won the award for relievers and outfielder Lewis Brinson was named the top defender.
• The Rangers have traded Minor League catcher Zach Zaneski to the Angels for future considerations. Zaneski was in the organization for seven years and a highly respected tireless worker, especially in Spring Training, when he put in many hours catching bullpen sessions, live batting practices and intrasquad games.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.