After getting off to a positively surprising start to his rookie season, Nick Tepesch has started to come back down to Earth after winning the No. 5 starter job out of spring training.
The groundball pitcher has struggled in two consecutive outings against pretty anemic offenses in the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs and there could be a bit of a red flag taking flight in regards to his prospects moving forward as the Rangers' schedule continues to toughen after a pretty light first month of the season.
On Monday, Tepesch's start came unglued in the fourth inning — his final frame of the night — as he allowed six Cubs runs, all with two outs, which included an RBI single from former Rangers pitcher Scott Feldman to help his own cause against his former club.
That game followed Tepesch's home start against the Chicago White Sox last week when he allowed five runs in 6 2/3 innings, but Monday night's outing was a new low for the 24-year-old righty.
“He just didn’t have his sinker," Rangers manager Ron Washington told the media after Monday's game. "He usually has a good sinker working, but he just didn’t have it tonight. The breaking ball was a little inconsistent. He was trying to get his fastball inside; he just couldn’t get it on the plate.”
Tepesch finished second in the AL Rookie of the Month voting for April behind teammate and rotation mate Justin Grimm, but Monday's outing brings his season ERA up to 4.50 and begins to put his future in question, especially when Colby Lewis and Martin Perez complete rehab assignments.