Tanner Scheppers was the Texas Rangers' Opening Day starter out of necessity, not out of worth or because he'd earned the "honor."
This isn't meant to trash Scheppers, who emerged on the baseball scene last season as one of the league's premiere setup men, even earning a spot on the fan's choice ballot for the final spot on the AL all-star team.
Scheppers as a starter just isn't seeming to fit. He's in the rotation because the Rangers felt they had no other options, and now some better options are coming back from injuries. On Monday night, his line looked much better than it did on Opening Day, but make no mistake, he still struggled.
He gave up two runs (OK, you can live with that) on nine hits in five innings of work and approached 100 pitches. He also escaped some big jams with the help of the double play. To put it simply, he wasn't as good as his numbers suggested.
The good thing is, Scheppers seems to realize his shortcomings and wants to work to improve in his efficiency.
"At the end of the day, I’ve got to get the team more innings,” Scheppers told ESPN Dallas. “I’ve got to go deeper in the ballgame. Forcing the manager’s hand in the fifth inning is not what a starting pitcher should do.”