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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.

The District Attorney Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:46 PM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nick martinez, rangers, tanner scheppers, transactions, yu darvish

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Davo Dozier Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:48 AM (#4677661)
#1 starter Tanner Scheppers, #4 starter Robbie Ross, and #5 starter Nick Martinez have a combined ZERO starts in their Major League career.

That's pretty ridiculous.

I feel like a bit of a "Bravo!" is due to the Rangers for coming up with such an inventive way to fill out their staff--fells like most other teams would just slot those emergency slots for the Aaron Harangs and Randy Wolfs and Freddy Garcias of the world.
   2. Rennie's Tenet Posted: March 27, 2014 at 07:20 AM (#4677679)
Ron Villone signed a minor league contract with the Pirates in February 2002, ended up starting on Opening Day.
   3. Lassus Posted: March 27, 2014 at 08:24 AM (#4677689)
Matsuzaka is available.
   4. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 27, 2014 at 08:45 AM (#4677697)
Can Alfonso Soriano pitch?
   5. BDC Posted: March 27, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4677705)
have a combined ZERO starts

And staff ace Martin Perez has all of 26. He is the last man left standing from their 2013 rotation.

But I agree on the Bravo. MIke Maddux seems strongly to believe that he can take any healthy young guy with a strong arm and train him to start baseball games. And you're exactly right, how could this be any worse than the trusty-rusty-veteran route.
   6. The Good Face Posted: March 27, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4677711)
But I agree on the Bravo. MIke Maddux seems strongly to believe that he can take any healthy young guy with a strong arm and train him to start baseball games. And you're exactly right, how could this be any worse than the trusty-rusty-veteran route.


Agree. At least there's some potential upside with this approach, and the chance to develop some valuable trade chips.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4677733)
Unlikely Guys Who Have Started an Opening Day in their Career:

Jake Arrieta BAL
Mark Bomback TOR
Tommy Boggs ATL
Dewon Brazelton TBD
Doug Brocail DET
Kirk Bullinger CHC
Jim Bullinger MTL
Mark Davis SFG
Ryan Drese TEX
Mark Hendrickson FLA
Runelvys Hernandez KCR
Al Holland SFG
Brian Holman SEA
Kevin Jarvis SDP
John Patterson WAS
Mike Remlinger CIN
Carlos Reyes OAK
Todd Ritchie PIT
Rafael Roque MIL
Scot Schoeneweis ANA
Tim Stauffer SDP
Tanyon Sturtze TBR
Kip Wells COL
   8. puck Posted: March 27, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4677744)
Dang, Kip Wells was still in baseball last year. He started 6 games at Salt Lake City.
   9. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 27, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4677756)
Dillon Gee will be starting Opening Day. He was drafted in the 21st round.
   10. flournoy Posted: March 27, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4677791)
Kirk Bullinger CHC
Jim Bullinger MTL


These were both Jim Bullinger (CHC 1995, MON 1997), not Kirk.

Probably not the worst pitcher to get multiple Opening Day starts, but he has to be up there.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4677805)
Ah yes, thanks #10. Dave LaPoint started opening days for both the Yankees and Cardinals. Scott Elarton started opening days for both the Astros and Royals.

Guys who were decent, but started Opening Days with teams that they sucked with:

Sid Fernandez PHI
Vincente Padilla LAD

   12. BDC Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4677821)
Unlikely Guys Who Have Started an Opening Day in their Career

My favorite is Tommy John. Not per se, but that it was 1989, he was 45 years old, and he was IIRC quite legitimately the best guy the New York Yankees could find to run out there coming north from spring training. He would retire two months later at 2-7 with an ERA of 5.80 for the season. But he did beat the Twins on Opening Day.
   13. The District Attorney Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4677831)
Most unlikely Opening Day starters, among guys I know something about, of teams not mentioned in #7:

NYM: I can see Bobby J. Jones starting one Opening Day, but three was really pushing it.
PHI: Probably Robert Person, beating out Omar Daal.
STL: Everyone's pretty good, of course.
ARI: Haven't been around long, and had Randy Johnson and Brandon Webb for a while, so everyone's been fine.
LAD: Vicente Padilla. Amazingly, this was only six years ago, where it feels like he pitched 90 years ago. Amazingly, the team ended up winning 95 games!
BOS: This is a weird one; I'd be curious to hear the explanation. After making the 1986 World Series thanks in large part to the pitching of Roger Clemens, Bruce Hurst, and Oil Can Boyd, the Opening Day starter in 1987 was... the guy who lost the closer job the previous year, Bob Stanley. (He went on to go 4-15, 5.07.)
NYY: Dave LaPoint, I guess. But that's about what you would expect from a team as bad as they were at the time.
CHW: No one too awful. I'll say James Baldwin just because I barely remember him. Him or Mike Sirotka.
CLE: I'll say Ken Schrom.
MIN: Vance Worley last year, or Brad Havens, 1983. Havens was league average the previous year, but turned out to be crap, particularly in 1983: 5-8, 8.18 (80.1 IP)! You don't see ERAs like 8.18 too often.
HOU: Have always had someone at least decent.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4677832)
BOS: This is a weird one; I'd be curious to hear the explanation. After making the 1986 World Series thanks in large part to the pitching of Roger Clemens, Bruce Hurst, and Oil Can Boyd, the Opening Day starter in 1987 was... the guy who lost the closer job the previous year, Bob Stanley. (He went on to go 4-15, 5.07.)


I don't know the story, but apparently Clemens, Hurst, and Boyd didn't start any of the opening 3-game series in '87.
   15. The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: March 27, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4677893)
Roque looks like he might have been part of a Johnny Allstaff opening day, as he went 2 IP, 1 ER and 5 relievers came after him. The pre-Ben Sheets years were pretty brutal.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4677896)

My favorite is Tommy John. Not per se, but that it was 1989, he was 45 years old


Yanks Opening Day Lineup 1989:

LF Rickey!
2B Steve Sax
DH Tom Brookens
1B Steve Balboni
RF Gary Ward
3B Mike Pagliorulo
C Don Slaught
SS Alvaro Espinoza
CF Roberto Kelly

Yowza.

On the plus side, they won! They beat Frank Viola, who 24 games the prior year. Kelly went 4-4 with a 2B, HR, 2 RBI.
   17. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4677899)
My favorite is Tommy John. Not per se, but that it was 1989, he was 45 years old, and he was IIRC quite legitimately the best guy the New York Yankees could find to run out there coming north from spring training. He would retire two months later at 2-7 with an ERA of 5.80 for the season. But he did beat the Twins on Opening Day.


Isn't the Twins all-time record against the Yankees something like 5-367? Start TJ tomorrow against the Twins and the Yanks would still win.
   18. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4677907)

NYM: I can see Bobby J. Jones starting one Opening Day, but three was really pushing it.


Jack Fisher lost 24 games (leading the league!) for the Mets in '65, so they made him Opening Day starter in '66.

STL: Everyone's pretty good, of course.


Jose DeLeon started in 1992. He won 2 games that year, and was 12-28 the previous two seasons combined.

CHW: No one too awful. I'll say James Baldwin just because I barely remember him. Him or Mike Sirotka.


Ricky Horton in 1988.
   19. Tim M Posted: March 27, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4677917)
Yanks Opening Day Lineup 1989:


That sure de-escalated quickly, didn't it?
   20. Davo Dozier Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4677939)
#13. CLE: I'll say Ken Schrom.


If I were writing a Hollywood screenplay about a pathetic Cleveland Indians team in the 1980s, I would name the starting pitcher character Ken Schrom.
   21. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4677945)
I don't know the story, but apparently Clemens, Hurst, and Boyd didn't start any of the opening 3-game series in '87.


Clemens held out that year (does anyone do that anymore?) and I believe Oil Can was hurt. Not sure what was up with Hurst. My guess is that one of Hurst/Can got hurt right before OD like Darvish necessitating the need for Steamer to start.
   22. The District Attorney Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4677951)
Ricky Horton in 1988.
Whoops, missed him. Yup, agreed (although I feel like I'm invoking the wrath of Brock Hanke by saying it...)
   23. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4677958)

Clemens held out that year (does anyone do that anymore?)


Lots of guys did in '87, this was Collusion.
   24. Squash Posted: March 28, 2014 at 02:02 AM (#4678069)
In other roster news: the Rangers released RHP Tommy Hanson

This little tidbit is hidden in here. Poor Tommy Hanson. I traded him literally right after his 14k game a few years ago, which was probably pretty much his last good game in the majors. That may actually have been the game in which he broke himself, as he started complaining of pain soon after.
   25. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4678159)
Kip Wells COL

Let's just list all the Rockies opening-day starters. (not that they're all bad… but Kevin Ritz did it twice)

David Nied
Armando Reynoso
Bill Swift
Kevin Ritz (starting against Phillies legend Sid Fernandez)
Darryl Kile
Pedro Astacio
Mike Hampton
Jason Jennings
Shawn Estes
Joe Kennedy
Aaron Cook
Kip Wells
Ubaldo Jimenez
Jeremy Guthrie
Jhoulys Chacin
   26. Hal Chase School of Professionalism Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4678163)
Havens was league average the previous year, but turned out to be crap, particularly in 1983: 5-8, 8.18 (80.1 IP)! You don't see ERAs like 8.18 too often.


You've gotta be really committed to letting a guy get his tits lit up to allow him to compile that kind of number.

"Should we go get him?"
"Nah, let's see how he reacts..."
   27. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 28, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4678183)
You don't see ERAs like 8.18 too often.


How about a 10.64 ERA in 67 innings?
Of course, it was only because he threw 6.43 ERA in relief, to counter the 13 starts of 11.13 ERA.
I wonder whatever happened to that guy...
   28. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4678203)
Joe Kennedy started opening days for both Tampa Bay and Colorado.

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