Nick Tepesch won the fifth spot in the Texas Rangers’ rotation last spring, but his try this spring was stopped two weeks before Opening Day.
Tepesch was among 11 players cut from the big-league clubhouse Monday afternoon, as the team optioned him to Triple A Round Rock.
Relievers Miles Mikolas and Cory Burns were also optioned to Triple A; rehabbing right-hander Daniel Bard was re-assigned to minor-league camp, along with infielders Andy Parrino and Kensuke Tanaka; catchers Patrick Cantwell and Brett Nicholas; and outfielders Bryan Petersen and Brad Snyder.
The Rangers also informed 42-year-old Jose Contreras that he would not make the team and he is weighing his options, including retirement.
But the most significant news was Tepesch, who had an 11.25 ERA in three games this spring. The 25-year-old right-hander understood the news.
“Just going to try and get better and work on some things,” Tepesch said. “Had a couple rough outings, but there’s also been some positives from each one of them.”
The most important thing for Tepesch is to continue being a groundball pitcher who relies on getting weak contact and working quick innings.
And Tepesch is in an important position as he’s now the first-line of defense should one of the five starters land on the disabled list or struggle.
“He’s our inventory, he’s our depth,” manager Ron Washington said. “He’s not going to make this team out of camp, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to be back in the big leagues.”