Nick Tepesch was basically gifted the No. 5 starter's job last year heading into spring training. It was his job to lose, and he'd probably have to lose it in a big way.
Tepesch went above and beyond in doing just that, allowing 19 hits and 10 runs with a .487 opponent batting average in his eight spring innings with the big-league club before being sent to minor-league camp. It was a disaster, and that's putting it nicely.
Now, Tepesch finds himself square in the middle of the competition for the No. 5 starter's job behind a solid bunch of Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Yovani Gallardo and Colby Lewis. He's in the mix with guys like Ross Detwiler and Anthony Ranaudo with a wild card option being Nick Martinez.
He might not earn the gig, but he definitely wants to give a better showing of himself as Cactus League games get going this week.
“I was just trying to do a little too much,” Tepesch told The Dallas Morning News. “I was trying to make perfect pitches and staying who I am. Getting sent down allowed me to look at what made me successful and try to own those types of things. It was beneficial. I also now know that I can only control what I do. If I stay focused on that, pressure takes care of itself.”