All spring, we've been saying the biggest question facing the Texas Rangers this season is the uncertainty in the bullpen — not only from the left side, but just in general as questions even surround guys like Neftali Feliz and Tanner Scheppers.
Now it looks like one of the few guys you can trust, Shawn Tolleson, might not be ready to start the season, and that could be a best-case scenario.
Tolleson, who threw more than 70 innings of relief last year with a 2.76 ERA, hasn't pitched since March 20 since complaining of forearm tightness. After the condition never improved, the Rangers sent him for an MRI on Wednesday with results expected Thursday.
Worst case? Tommy John. Best case? That could be starting the season on the disabled list with a back-dating of the injury, meaning he could only miss perhaps the first week or so of the season, assuming all is well. But even then, he'd have to get some innings in the minors before being ready. Even if he's able to pitch again in the next day or two, it'd be difficult to have him ready for Opening Day on April 6 in Oakland.
Assistant GM Thad Levine told The Dallas Morning News the team won't rush to have Tolleson ready to go when the season begins.
“We still need to asses the MRI, we’re not going to put somebody in harm’s way if they are going to be in any jeopardy,” Levine said. “We’re looking medium-to-long-term. We’re not myopic.”