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Closer Derby: Who Will It Be?

Tanner Scheppers made a solid case to be the next Rangers closer

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Closer Derby: Who Will It Be?

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Tanner Scheppers (52) of the Texas Rangers.

Joe Nathan will not be back with the Rangers in 2014, leaving a void at the closer position. Fortunately, the Rangers have plenty of internal options.

Candidate 1: Tanner Schepper, RHP

2013 stats: 76 2/3 innings, 1.88 ERA, 6-2 record, 59 strikeouts, 24 walks

Scheppers definitely did enough to earn a shot at the closer's role in 2014 after an all-star caliber year as the Rangers' set-up man in 2013. Aside from one rough stretch that could easily be chalked up to fatigue, Scheppers was quite dominant. The one concern with him, and it is a valid one, is his low strikeout rate compared to most closers. At just 6.9 strikeouts per nine innings, there's valid concern he doesn't swing-and-miss stuff that the elite closers usually need, but his upper-90s fastball with life could easily get him to that point.

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