Tepesch Makes Ugly Spring Debut In Surprise

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In the race to be the Rangers’ 5th starting pitcher, Nick Tepesch has stumbled out of the gate.

We know they’ll feature Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels, Derek Holland and Colby Lewis in their rotation. If there is drama in Surprise this Spring, it’s for the final spot. Martin Perez heads into camp as the leading candidate, but guys like Tepesch will get a shot.

His first chance arrived Sunday, and it wasn’t pretty. In two innings the right-hander coughed up three runs on four hits and two walks in a 7-3 loss to the Mariners. He also allowed Seattle to steal four bases.

“It’s hard to be successful when you're constantly falling behind and trying to get back in the counts,” Tepesch said. “The biggest thing for me was not getting ahead early and putting guys away and having to fight and claw my way back into the count. I just didn't make enough good pitches early on in the counts.”

Last year Tepesch went 5-11 with a 4.36 ERA in 22 starts before undergoing elbow surgery in August. He’s recovering health is an issue. But with a crowded competition, he knows there’s no time for excuses.

“I feel healthy,” Tepesch said. “Early on that is the most important thing, but at the same time I've got to worry about the results a little more too.”

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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