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
When Tanner Scheppers was activated from the disabled list prior to Thursday night's game against the Baltimore Orioles, the plan was supposedly to ease him back into action after being on the shelf since April with elbow inflammation after a failed experiment as a starting pitcher.
Turns out, he was thrown right back into his role from 2013, when he was one of the league's top setup men and put in to start the eighth inning with his team holding a three-run lead to hand the ball of to closer Joakim Soria in the ninth.
That ended up happening, but not without some hiccups.
Scheppers immediately fell back to his bad habits from earlier this season and gave up a leadoff home run to Adam Jones to start the eighth inning and cut the Rangers' lead to 8-6. After that, he got a groundout, walked a guy and got another groundball for a double play.
It was nice to see Scheppers bounce back after a rough start to his first outing since April 17. The Rangers are hoping Scheppers can get back to what he was last year and not be ruined by his failed starting experiment that sent him to the DL after four starts with a 9.82 ERA.
Thursday night was just the first step toward that.