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.”

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.