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Tanner Scheppers’ first big league start will be Opening Day

Mar 26, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT

Tanner Scheppers Rangers Getty Images

Here’s something you don’t see very often: Because of injuries knocking Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, and Derek Holland out of the mix the Rangers have turned to Tanner Scheppers as their Opening Day starter and it will also be the 27-year-old right-hander’s first career start in the majors.

Scheppers was an occasional starter in the minors, but has worked exclusively as a reliever for the Rangers and was fantastic out of the bullpen last season with a 1.88 ERA and 59/24 K/BB ratio in 77 innings. Texas decided to shift Schepper’s role around following all the injuries to the rotation and Darvish’s recent neck problems caused them to scramble even further for Opening Day.

Last time Scheppers started a regular season game was 2011 at Triple-A and he has a grand total of 12 professional starts since being drafted 44th overall in 2009. Meanwhile, the Rangers have also decided that Alexi Ogando–who started 29 games in 2011 and 18 games last season–will begin this year in the bullpen.

  1. eglooney - Mar 26, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Fascinating. I was imagining a still-wet-behind-the-ears-but-ever-poised Martin Perez as the opening day starter. Either him or retreads Saunders or Hanson.

    Interesting twist. I hope he nails it.

    • eglooney - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      Now… I see where Hanson is gone. Hope the Rangers are able to keep him at AAA and help him continue to resurrect his career.

  2. sisisisisisisi - Mar 26, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Ogando may have to start a couple of games if Yu is on the DL

  3. ryanrockzzz - Mar 26, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    And I bet the Phillies get one run and about 5 hits off him.

  4. bendover09 - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    Rangers claimed Murphy from cubs

    Ogando is staying in the bullpen
    Yu is already cleared to start throwing again

  5. zdravit - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    Ha. Feliz is better than their entire rotation. Suck it, Texas.

  6. mikhelb - Mar 26, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    First pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 to be designated as the pitcher for the inaugural game of his team’s season meanwhile being his first start ever in the majors. Since 1945 only them have done it (well technically just Fernando until the 2014 season begins)

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