As soon as Wednesday's blood bath was over, the Texas Rangers optioned spot starter Anthony Ranaudo back to the minor leagues in order to call up Tanner Scheppers to make his season debut at some point this weekend in the Rangers bullpen.
Scheppers was an elite setup man in 2013 before failing as a starter in 2014 and eventually being shut down due to elbow inflammation that just required rest and not surgery, amazingly enough for a Rangers pitcher.
Now, he's looking to return to the bullpen and be a dominant late-inning reliever again, and he'll likely get his chance to start the 2015 season at some point this weekend in Seattle. Scheppers was very good in his rehab stint at Double-A Frisco. He pitched in three games, working 2 2/3 innings and allowing no hits with five strikeouts.
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The Rangers bullpen needs all the help it can get, and if it can be kept fresh it could be a major strength of this team with the likes of Keone Kela, Shawn Tolleson, Roman Mendez and Neftali Feliz. Scheppers hopes to rediscover his form from 2013 when he pitched 76 2/3 innings and had a 1.88 ERA.