Tanner Scheppers is back on the disabled list with more right elbow inflammation.
The Rangers’ Opening Day starter turned reliever missed more than a month earlier this season with the same injury and is expected to miss even more time with this latest setback.
Scheppers is expected to be shut down for at least six weeks, which means he won’t start throwing again until August. He could make it back before the end of the season, but there’s a possibility his season is over.
“Frustrated,” Scheppers said. “Heart-broken, really. I don’t have all the information yet; I just got word that the MRI didn’t look good.”
At least Scheppers shouldn’t require surgery to get it right at this point after an initial review of the MRI by team physician Keith Meister.
Scheppers, 27, entered the season in the Rangers’ rotation, starting Opening Day with Yu Darvish sidelined with an injury. He made four starts before letting the team know his elbow had been bothering him since spring training.
The Rangers shut him down for three weeks and built Scheppers back up in a relief role.
He made five medical rehabilitation outings and then four relief appearances with the Rangers, including Tuesday, before complaining about more elbow discomfort.
“Just got a little tight when I was sitting in the dugout,” Scheppers said. “It doesn’t feel worse [than the first time].”
Scheppers’ second stint on the DL marked the 20th time the team has used it this season.
It’s been a baffling season of injuries to date and general manager Jon Daniels doesn’t know how to put it all into words.
“Obviously we take every precaution we can and we’ve had a very good medical track record over the years,” Daniels said. “I’m not frustrated with anybody in particular but I’m certainly frustrated with our inability to keep our players on the field.
“I think this league and division is challenging enough when you put your best team in the field out there and you feel like you have a chance to contend on Opening Day.”
Rowen called up
To take Scheppers’ spot, the team called up submarine right-hander Ben Rowen from Triple A Round Rock.
The 25-year-old Rowen has yet to pitch in the big leagues, but has enjoyed success at every level in the minor leagues. He had a 2.75 ERA over 16 relief appearances with the Express and opponents have hit just .237 off him.
“He hasn’t given up very much down there, so looking forward to seeing it,” manager Ron Washington said.
The Rangers considered bringing back right-hander Neftali Feliz, but he threw two innings on Tuesday. Feliz’s velocity has gotten more consistent outing to outing, but there is more to be desired from his secondary pitches.
First pick signs
Luis Ortiz is the newest player to join the organization.
The right-hander from Sanger [Calif.] High School, who was taken 30th overall by the Rangers in last week’s draft, signed for $1.75 million on Wednesday.
“It means the world to me,” Ortiz said. “It’s just the start. I’m getting ready to go play professional baseball. No more high school, it’s the big leagues.”
Ortiz will graduate from high school this weekend and then report to the Arizona rookie league. He’s ready to get out of the house, too.
“I’m a grown kid now, 18,” he said. “It’s time to start life. It’s my job now.”
The Rangers have agreed to terms with every pick in their first 10 rounds except seventh-rounder Nick Green, a right-hander from Indian Hills [Colo.] Community College.