There were many options for the Texas Rangers in regards to their fifth starter out of spring training.
After Nick Tepesch came out of nowhere to win the No. 5 starter job after Martin Perez got hurt in spring training, the thought was he would be the guy until Perez returned, or until Colby Lewis returned from his rehab and slid into the rotation.
Now, with Matt Harrison out until after the all-star break after back surgery, Tepesch has an opportunity to really make a name for himself with the Rangers, and he continued his solid start to the season on Thursday night, pitching the Rangers to a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Twins.
After leaving his last start on Saturday in the second inning after taking a line drive off the wrist, Tepesch was just fine on Thursday night, working 6 2/3 innings and giving up just one run — a solo homer from Josh Willingham — to pick up his second big league win.
In his last three starts, Tepesch, a groundball machine, has struck out nine and walked none while seeing his ERA settle into a nice, crisp 2.53.
When Lewis returns in what the Rangers hope will be late May, Tepesch is making a strong case to stay in the rotation, and when Harrison returns later this summer, the same could be said. A groundball pitcher and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is a nice combination.