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Rangers tell Tanner Scheppers to prepare to start in spring training

Jan 11, 2014, 10:55 PM EDT

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The Rangers were in for a shock yesterday when they learned that starter Derek Holland injured his knee in a fall at home, forcing him to undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair the torn cartilage. He is expected to be out until around mid-season. As a result, the Rangers are scrambling to find a substitute starter in the month-plus between now and the start of spring training.

Reports have indicated that the Rangers prefer not to make a big splash, such as signing Masahiro Tanaka or Matt Garza. Rather, they prefer to stay in-house. Names such as Robbie Ross have emerged, as well as last year’s set-up man Tanner Scheppers. Anthony Andro of FOX Sports reports that the Rangers have told Scheppers to arrive to spring training ready to start and compete for a spot in the rotation.

I’m just going to go in the best shape of my life, ready to throw, whatever they need,” Scheppers said. “I’ve been asked to possibly be ready for both (starter or closer) so I’m going to go in ready for whatever. I feel like my body is feeling good, healthy.”

Scheppers was one of the best relievers in baseball last season, finishing with a 1.88 ERA in 76 2/3 innings setting up for former closer Joe Nathan. Scheppers last started in 2011, when he made one start with Triple-A Round Rock. He started seven games in 2010 with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Despite the loss of Nathan, the Rangers have a lot of bullpen depth, so they can afford to move Scheppers to the rotation in a pinch.

  1. mazblast - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    Advice to the Rangers–try it, but don’t force it. If he doesn’t show an immediate aptitude to going more innings, put him back where he’s excelled previously.

    We’ve seen too many quality relievers totally ruin their careers trying to be starters, most recently Daniel Bard.

    • bendover09 - Jan 12, 2014 at 1:52 AM

      I’m pretty sure the scouts know a bit more than the average fan

  2. eyefeeler - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    I suppose he has to, but he was great in his role last year.

  3. braxtonrob - Jan 12, 2014 at 4:50 AM

    Rangers have a lot of good young arms. I hope we plan to trade for another big starter (in addition to Darvish) at about the same time Holland is due back.

    Ability tends to sort itself out more clearly around June.

  4. andreweac - Jan 12, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    Best shape of his life story pending!

  5. themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 12, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    He better not get in any more fights this off season.

  6. cackalackyank - Jan 12, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    Hmmm, you can also read this story as, ‘Rangers not in the hunt for Tanaka.’

  7. leylandshospicenurse - Jan 12, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Good, I love seeing people with high heat start. I think too many arms are waisted, when they are more needed in the pen. Rosenthal, and Chapman are good as closers, but there is always that what could have been. Just think if Verlander or Sale had been converted to the closer role when they came up. They may have made a good closer but you miss out on a top 10 out of around 150 starters.

    • gt929 - Jan 12, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      Some examples- Neftali Feliz, and Pedro Martinez. It’s hard to tell how it will turn out, but I say give them a chance if they are so inclined. Scheppers and Ross were both stretching out in the winter leagues even before Holland’s injury.

  8. dylanthom2013 - Jan 12, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    They’re going to bring #1 starting pitching prospect Luke Jackson to ST. Long-shot candidate for the 5th-spot and more likely to start the year at AA-Frisco, but man this guy has a gun for an arm.

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