Rangers’ first-year manager Jeff Banister is still getting to know his bullpen pitchers. With camp winding down, he’s beginning to have a better idea of what he can expect from each arms while he and his staff try to whittle the roster down to 25.
Of those 25, seven will be in the bullpen. Two of those are already known: Closer Neftali Feliz and set-up man Tanner Scheppers. Shawn Tolleson expects to be in the bullpen when the season starts April 6 but a sore throwing forearm has set him back a bit.
The other four? They’re most likely pitching in Saturday’s game against the Padres.
Jon Edwards will start, followed by, in no order, Kyuji Fujikawa, Jamey Wright, Keone Kela, Feliz, Alex Claudio, Roman Mendez, and Scheppers.
Edwards, who went to Keller High School, will pitch two innings. Banister wants to see Edwards pitch against major league hitters with runners on base and also see how he handles a multi-inning situation.
“Jon Edwards has had a tremendous camp,” Banister said.
Scheppers was impressive with his velocity Thursday but was tagged for three runs on three hits despite collecting three strikeouts in 2/3 of an inning. A wild pitch strike three helped extend a wild ninth inning when the Rockies scored three times. Scheppers has been slowed this spring with an ankle injury but Banister expects him to finish with about 10 to 11 innings, just a few short of a typical spring load for a reliever.
“I expect him to pitch significant innings in the back end of the game,” he said. “I look for Tanner to be one of those guys with Nefty, out there to lock down the game, help us win the games we’re supposed to win. I feel confident that he’s going to be ready.”
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760