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
Other than the fact that Tanner Scheppers threw a bullpen session on Tuesday in Houston, we don't know much else about the setup man turned embattled starter for the Texas Rangers.
Scheppers has been on the disabled list since last month with arm fatigue after he struggled mightily in his attempt to become a starting pitcher. On Tuesday he threw a 25-30 pitch session at Minute Maid Park and will likely throw another session or simulated game before heading out on a rehab assignment. His target return date isn't yet known.
Not only does he not know when he'll return, he doesn't know in which role he'll come back, either. It's hard to imagine him returning to the starting rotation after he put up a 9.82 ERA in his 18 1/3 innings of work. He's 0-1. Last season, he was 6-2 with a 1.88 ERA in 76 relief appearances.
“I don’t think I have guarantees on this staff,” Scheppers told ESPN Dallas. “I don’t think I showed anything to prove me to be a guaranteed starter.
“I wasn't fully healthy when I was throwing. I was throwing through some stuff. Hopefully, they put that into the equations, but it’s out of my control.”
Scheppers' addition to the bullpen would be a huge bonus, assuming he can be what he was last year. They Rangers have used a variety of guys in the setup role this year — Jason Frasor, Alexi Ogando and Neal Cotts, and only Frasor has been fully reliable.