Tanner Scheppers is headed to the disabled list with an elbow injury, but not necessarily out of the Texas Rangers’ rotation.
The Rangers announced that the right-hander had muscle inflammation in his right elbow on Friday afternoon, although they don’t feel that Scheppers’ move from reliever to starter is necessarily the direct cause.
“Obviously we’ve thought about it,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “Starters get hurt, relievers get hurt. I think it’s easy to draw a connection to the role, but I don’t think anybody really knows for sure.”
Daniels said the organization is still viewing Scheppers as a starter for now, although he acknowledged that there might not be an open rotation spot when Scheppers is ready to return. He is first eligible to come off the DL on May 3.
Scheppers has been dealing with an elbow issue since spring training and felt it was something he could pitch through. The results suggested otherwise, as he went 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA over four starts, including Opening Day.
“It hasn’t gotten better the way we would like,” said Scheppers, who was knocked out after only 2 1/3 innings in his start Thursday against Seattle.
“Right now we want to take a step back, get healthy, because there’s no point going through and pushing through something like this.”
Scheppers went on to say he didn’t feel he was getting the necessary extension on his pitches, and he didn’t have the same sharpness or crispness as in the past.
But at least Scheppers got some comfort with the MRI results, which revealed nothing too alarming.
“This is all relatively new, I needed peace of mind,” Scheppers said. “I really don’t think it has anything to do with me starting. I am doing something that I haven’t done in a long time. I’m taking a couple of weeks here to get right.”
Manager Ron Washington is on board with that, but also wants his players to be upfront and honest about injuries. He hinted that he wasn’t too pleased to learn about Scheppers’ injury after Thursday’s game when it had been going on since spring.
“I have no comment on that because I haven’t had a chance to get into it deep with Tanner,” Washington said. “I’m not putting something out there without talking to him yet.”
The Rangers are expected to recall Nick Martinez from Double A Frisco to make Scheppers’ next scheduled start on Tuesday at Oakland.
They purchased the contract of left-hander Aaron Poreda from Triple A Round Rock to give them an extra left-handed reliever for the time being.