It should've been a great sign in 2014 that the Texas Rangers' season was about to be derailed when they announced Tanner Scheppers would be their Opening Day starter. That's right, the same Tanner Scheppers who had never had a big-league start previously.
It didn't go well, as Scheppers made four starts and ended his stint as a starter with a 9.82 ERA before hitting the disabled list after an April 17 start in which he lasted just 2 1/3 innings against the Mariners. Two months later, Scheppers returned in the bullpen, where he was so good in 2013 as the Rangers' setup man and nearly earned an all-star berth, and allowed a run in three of his four appearances before being shut down again with elbow fatigue and not returning.
On Friday, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Scheppers threw a bullpen session and is ahead of schedule in his rehab program from his right elbow inflammation that shut him down for the season.
It has already been decided — wisely — that Scheppers will return to the bullpen in 2015 after he was 6-2 with a 1.88 ERA in 76 2/3 innings of work in 2013 as the setup man for Joe Nathan.