It seems at this point that most Texas Rangers fans believe Tanner Scheppers is better suited to be in a high-leverage role in the back end of the team's bullpen, like he was last season as an elite setup man. And, it's hard to really make an argument against that point.
Scheppers has struggled with high pitch counts, inefficiency and an inability to make guys miss in his three starts this season. On Thursday afternoon, he'll have start No. 4, and his days could be waning as a Rangers starter with the imminent return of Matt Harrison and possibly even Joe Saunders to the rotation.
One thing is certain, Scheppers has been outdueled by his former bullpen mate Robbie Ross in the converted reliever sweepstakes. Scheppers needs to make a statement on Thursday like Ross did on Tuesday, when he tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings in just 90 pitches.
“Robbie’s worked so hard at it, and his hard work is paying off,” Scheppers said. “For me, I’ve got to focus on what I’ve got to take care of. … Attack with my fastball and keep faith in my ability.”
Only problem for Scheppers is that his ability might just be as a reliever and not a starter, and there's nothing wrong with that. His chances to prove otherwise are numbered, and he has another one this afternoon.