Needless to say, Tanner Scheppers would likely get a lot of outs in his new role as a starter with the 800 mph pitch he allegedly let loose from the tentacles of his right hand on Thursday night.
In reality, Scheppers is being asked to do enough as the Rangers’ emergency Opening Day starter without an expectation of super humanness, despite what an errant scoreboard posting might have suggested.
He picked up the victory Thursday, showing only a sampling of the assortment of four pitches, including a fastball — in the low to mid-90s — in the Rangers’ 7-4 exhibition dress rehearsal victory over Quintana Roo Tigres at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
The Rangers saw a little bit of everything, including Prince Fielder taking the first of many expected trips around the bases with a blast into the Rangers’ bullpen in the first inning.
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The MLB’s new instant replay even made an appearance.
Scheppers will make his first major league start Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 of 2014 because Yu Darvish (neck) can’t.
The right-hander reasserted that he’s ready for his increased role even before giving up one run on one hit in a 13-pitch first inning Thursday.
“Throwing in some [big] games last year definitely will help,” said Scheppers, whose 76 2/3 innings in 2013 will, at a minimum, double this season as a starter. “Other than that, I have to go out there and trust myself.
“My only focus is on winning.”
A leadoff double and a 1-0 deficit wasn’t the way Scheppers wanted to begin his walk-through Thursday.
Fielder erased that deficit in the first with a two-run home run that also brought in Donnie Murphy, who was auditioning for a role as a utility infielder.
Murphy had a double and a home run — initially called a double until manager Ron Washington requested a review — with three RBIs in his first two at-bats.