In less than two months, the 2014 baseball season will begin. The Texas Rangers are poised to return to the postseason, but there are a good amount of questions surrounding the season.
Question: What, exactly, will Tanner Scheppers be doing for the Rangers in 2014?
Tanner Scheppers is coming off a phenomenal breakout season in 2013, when he emerged late in spring training to become the team's setup man on Opening Day, a role that left many questioning what the team would get from such an unproven commodity.
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This spring, once again, Scheppers' role for the upcoming season is uncertain, but for a completely different reason. Coming off a year in which he established himself as a top-flight eighth-inning guy and posted a 1.88 ERA, Scheppers is now unclear as to what he'll be doing in 2014, and the spectrum of possibilities is far-reaching.
He's being stretched out to start with the thought that he, along with Robbie Ross, could fight for a rotation spot in the Rangers' injury-plagued rotation that is full of question marks other than ace Yu Darvish. He's also a possibility to earn the closer's job, for which Neftali Feliz seems to be the favorite but has plenty of question marks himself after recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Oh, and he could also return to his eighth-inning role, setting up for Feliz, assuming all goes well for the former AL Rookie of the Year and all-star closer. That would be the most logical outcome for all of this, but as of now, Scheppers' role is completely up in the air. With a young guy like that who's coming off a great year, you have to wonder if this is the best approach to take if you're the Rangers.