Martin Perez begins rehab, is guaranteed nothing

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With the startling production from Nick Tepesch and Justin Grimm, both on the outside looking in as spring training began, Rangers lefty Martin Perez isn’t guaranteed a spot in the rotation when he is fully recovered from a fractured forearm suffered in March. Tepesch has a 3.54 ERA in 28 innings and Grimm 2.28 in 23.2 innings.

Perez made his first rehab start today, allowing a run on four hits in three innings with no walks or strikeouts.

Manager Ron Washington on Perez, via ESPN Dallas:

“His job is to go and get ready,” Washington said. “When he’s ready, we’ll make a decision.”

[…]

“It’s great that we’re getting our pitching back, it gives us depth,” Washington said. “But it’s gonna come down to what’s best for us and what’s best for the player at the time. Then a decision will be made.”

Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start with forearm tightness

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Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.

Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.

Ivan Nova finally issued his first walk. It was to an AL pitcher taking his first major league at-bat.

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Pirates starter Ivan Nova has been outstanding in his first three starts of the 2017 season. He yielded only five earned runs in 20 innings for a tidy 2.25 ERA. But even more impressively, Nova didn’t issue a walk in any of those starts.

That changed on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, but in a most peculiar way. Nova had struck out the side in the first inning, notched a 1-2-3 frame in the second, and got two quick ground outs to begin the third inning, bringing up Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery for his first major league at-bat. Montgomery never batted in the minor leagues, either, so Sunday’s AB against Nova was his first since his senior year of high school in 2011. Montgomery took the first two pitches for balls, then a called strike, a ball, and another called strike to even the count. Nova came in with his sixth consecutive fastball but it missed low, walking the Yankees’ pitcher for his first free pass of the 2017 season.

Nova got out of the inning without any further issue. He wound up going seven innings, giving up a lone run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to an even 2.00.