ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 12: Tanner Scheppers #52 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Houston Astros in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 12, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Tanner Scheppers
C.J. Wilson ruined it for everyone.
When the Texas Rangers took one of the relief pitchers — an erratic one at best — and decided to make a starting pitcher out of him, the current Angels starter made them look very smart and resourceful as he quickly became the Rangers' best starter for the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Since then, they've tried the trick with a handful of other relievers — Alexi Ogando, Neftali Feliz, Tanner Scheppers and Robbie Ross. The only one who could somehow be interpreted as a success is Ogando, who made the all-star team in 2011 as a starter before bouncing back and forth between the rotation and bullpen and currently on the disabled list for the umpteenth time in the past two seasons.
On Wednesday, Scheppers joined him there for the second time this season as he was put back on the DL with elbow inflammation after four appearances since coming off the DL with the same ailment. In other words, it's not looking good.
Rangers doctor Dr. Keith Meister said the MRI results on Scheppers don't point to surgery, just rest, but elbow inflammation is always an indicator of the dreaded Tommy John surgery.
Here's the deal with Scheppers and Ogando when compared to those other guys. Wilson had started in the minors. Ross started games in the minors. Feliz started games in the minors. Scheppers and Ogando, on the other hand, were basically strictly relief pitchers until they were converted.
Scheppers had arm trouble throughout his career before finally hitting it big in 2013 as a setup man, and one of the league's most successful ones, at that. Now, he's seemingly ruined.
There will still be candidates to be converted to starting pitchers, don't get me wrong, but hopefully the Rangers will take a long pause to consider everything when doing it from this point forward.