The Texas Rangers have reaped the benefit this season of their player development in the minor leagues, especially when it comes to pitching. Robbie Ross, Martin Perez, Justin Grimm and Tanner Scheppers have contributed to the Rangers' 50-win first half, and Danny Clark has contributed, too.
Clark is the Rangers minor league pitching coordinator, and he is in his fourth season in that role. This is his seventh season in the Rangers' organization, and all have been spent working with pitchers, including left-hander Perez, who won his first major league start Saturday. Clark spoke to Perez on the phone just before being a guest on Sunday’s edition of Rangers Magazine, which is heard on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM.
“We did talk about the change-up, and he felt like the change-up was a good pitch, especially when he got into deep counts,” Clark said. “I basically stressed to him, you know, going in just like the last four, five starts at Round Rock was basically to get four pitches or less to each hitter and not get so deep in counts.”
Perez faced 23 batters Saturday, and 10 of them saw four pitches or fewer. In addition to Perez, Grimm has also posted a major league win, Scheppers has a save, and Ross had a strong first half as a versatile reliever.
Before Ross posted his six wins and 1.03 ERA, Clark did not advocate Ross being in the majors as a reliever. Listen to the podcast to hear why. Also, Clark talked more about Perez, Scheppers and Derek Holland -- whom he first coached at Single-A Clinton in 2008. We also discussed what’s going on with Neil Ramirez and Barret Loux at Double-A Frisco as well as four additional pitchers to keep tabs on as they develop in the Rangers' system.
Follow Bryan Dolgin on Twitter: @RangersESPN_BD