Tanner Scheppers and Kyuji Fujikawa are expected to be integral parts of the Texas Rangers’ bullpen in 2015.
But the club will have to wait a week or two into the season. Both right-handers will start the season on the disabled list with injuries.
Scheppers, who has healed from a right ankle injury early in camp, is still trying to build arm strength to make up for lost time on the mound this spring. He’ll pitch in an exhibition in Frisco against Triple A Round Rock on Sunday, along with left-hander Derek Holland.
“Everything is good,” Scheppers said. “I had a setback in spring training. I’m not going to help the team going out there not 100 percent. I’m not going to go out there in the fire when I haven’t thrown in a week.”
Scheppers only threw three innings this spring.
Fujikawa is still dealing with a strained right groin and expects to be back in two weeks. He’s scheduled to throw a bullpen session Tuesday.
“My body is a little bit tired, but I feel pretty good,” Fujikawa said. “If you’re a player, it happens to everyone, but I want to be at my best all the time.”
Banister out sick
Rangers manager Jeff Banister left before Saturday’s game with a bad case of the flu.
Banister is expected to fly separately from the team and join them for Monday’s season opener in Oakland.
Three seasons ago Tyler Pastornicky was the Atlanta Braves’ Opening Day shortstop at 22 years old. He was hitting .271 in late May when the Braves started to platoon him and his average dropped.
He finished the season hitting .243 in 169 at-bats and 76 games after being sent down to the minors. He tore his ACL in August 2013 and was limited for much of 2014 because of the surgery.
Pastornicky, now 25, is glad to have a fresh start with the Rangers.
“I’m trying to find a place I can play every day and be ready in case something happens and they need me,” he said. “It’s a good place for me, provide some depth. This is a weird game, injuries can happen all the time. A lot of things could happen, so I’ll just try stay ready and see what happens.”
Left-handed pitcher Alex Claudio and right-hander Jon Edwards, who attended Keller High School, were optioned to Triple A Round Rock after Saturday’s game.
Catcher Chris Gimenez and infielder Thomas Field were assigned to minor league camp. Left-hander Sam Freeman, who attended Hebron High School, was told he won’t make the team and will be designated for assignment Sunday.
9-19-5Rangers record in spring training, their fifth spring with at least 19 losses (1991, ‘94, ‘05, ‘10).
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760