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Two Pitchers Earn Bullpen Gigs

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A couple of weeks ago, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington announced Joe Nathan, Jason Frasor, Robbie Ross and Michael Kirkman had all locked down spots in the Rangers' bullpen for the beginning of the season.

    On Thursday, he announced two more names had pinned down spots in the Rangers' bullpen for the Opening Day roster as Tanner Scheppers will have another chance to establish himself and Joe Ortiz will introduce himself to Rangers fans after coming into spring training as an unheralded spare part.

    Ortiz's story resembles that of Ross last year after he came into the spring, set the world on fire and unexpectedly made the Opening Day roster only to go on and be one of the top middle relievers in baseball. Ross was in the running for the fifth starter job this spring but was ultimately kept in the bullpen.

    Ortiz, a lefty, attacked hitters all spring, allowing just one run with 11 strikeouts and one walk in 11 innings of work. Scheppers is a lively arm who has been all potential for the last couple of seasons but has yet to really prove himself as a capable big-league pitcher. He'll have another shot this season.