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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Texas Rangers name Tanner Scheppers opening day starter; Yu Darvish to open on DL

Well, hello, hello and welcome, my friend, to Tanner’s Happy Good-byes.

In a flurry of pitching moves forced by injuries and slow rehabs, the Rangers named first-time starter Tanner Scheppers their opening day starting pitcher… Scheppers will start on March 31 against Philadelphia and will be followed by LHP Martin Perez, LHP Robbie Ross and LHP Joe Saunders. RHP Nick Martinez, who pitched at Class A and Double A last year, will have the fifth spot for the start of the season…

despite a very encouraging medical report from Dallas on Yu Darvish, the Rangers’ planned opening day starter will open the season on the DL. Darvish’s exam by Dr. Drew Dossett was deemed “unremarkable,” and there was no structural damage found near or around his neck and shoulder. He will play catch on Thursday and then a further throwing program will be devised.

In other roster news: the Rangers released RHP Tommy Hanson, rather than guaranteeing his $500,000 salary (which would have grown to $2 million on Opening Day), signed RHP Scott Baker to a minor league contract, acquired INF Donnie Murphy from the Chicago Cubs on a waiver claim and added RHP Seth Rosin (pronounced Row-Zeen), a Rule 5 pick, on a waiver claim from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Baker will go to Triple-A Round Rock to join the rotation.

The Rangers also told OF Michael Choice that he had made the club, which was probably the least surprising news of the day…

manager Ron Washington tapped Scheppers, he said, partly because of his experience pitching in high leverage situations last year as a setup man.

“He’s profiled as a No. 1 kind of guy,” Washington said of Scheppers, who had a 3.07 ERA and .208 opponents batting average in spring training while striking out 14 in 14.2 innings. “The innings he pitched last year were under a lot of pressure and I think he can handle the pressure that goes along with opening day.”

It is perhaps the most unlikely opening day rotation in Rangers history. None of the five were in the opening day rotation last year and three of the five have never made a major league start…

While Scheppers may be the most unlikely opening day starter since Craig Lefferts in 1992 [sic; it was 1993 - TDA], Martinez may be the most unlikely member of an opening day rotation in Rangers history. He was an 18th round draft choice in 2011 who had a breakthrough year in 2013 split between Myrtle Beach and Frisco. He was 10-7 with a 2.87 ERA in 119 innings at Myrtle Beach, then went 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in five games (four starts) at Frisco.

But he was not on the 40-man roster and was not in major league camp. He made his biggest impression with two scoreless innings of relief against Cleveland on Tuesday.


 

 

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