SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Left-handed pitcher Martin Perez is seeking to make a good impression during his spring debut Monday, as he is among those competing for the fifth starter slot.
The 21-year old-prospect is highly thought of and, after struggling in six starts last season, maturity and experience could play a factor in his ability to crack the starting rotation in 2013, and stay there.
"He's shown good focus," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's showing a good changeup, a good breaking ball and is keeping his fastball down with good movement around both sides of the plate. Now, can he do that when a hitter walks up there? That is what is going to separate him."
One of the other competitors is Kyle McClellan, who isn't scheduled to test his sore shoulder until a bullpen session on Wednesday. Even if that goes well, the right-hander will still need to throw another bullpen session and live batting practice before making his spring debut.
During a typical spring, that could put McClellan behind the curve in the competition. However, with the World Baseball Classic taking place in March, the spring schedule is longer than usual. Thanks to the extra time and the fact that a fifth starter isn't used until later in the first month of the season, McClellan won't be at a disadvantage.
"He'll still have a chance," Washington said. "He still has time. But if he keeps having setbacks, then it's obvious."
* Colby Lewis threw 20 pitches from the front half of the half mound on Monday morning and said he felt fine.
* Rangers Hall of Famers Rusty Greer and Kenny Rogers, as well as Mark McLemore, are slated to be in camp Friday as guest instructors.