Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections are a good measure of what to expect from players in the upcoming baseball season. We'll take a look at the Rangers' projections on a position-by-position basis. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.
Today we'll look at the projections for the Rangers' set-up role, which at this point, seems to belong to Tanner Scheppers with Joakim Soria lurking in the shadows.
Scheppers: 57 1/3 innings, 4.71 ERA, 7.07 K/9 IP, 45 strikeouts, 20 walks, 7 home runs allowed
If your set-up man posts an ERA approaching 5.00, you're going to be in trouble. Scheppers has long been touted as a serious fire-thrower with a lively arm that has not really realized his full potential yet. He was very hit or miss last season and definitely leaves the Rangers in a shaky situation, at least for the short term...
Soria: 49 innings, 3.86 ERA, 8.63 K/9 IP, 47 strikeouts, 14 walks, 6 home runs allowed
Soria, who hasn't pitched since 2011, isn't due back until late May or early June, but if he comes back like his old self, when he was a dominant closer in Kansas City, the Rangers will have their set-up man, and possibly even their closer of the future as they have him on a three-year deal.