With only six days remaining before Opening Day, the Texas Rangers are staring at the possibility of two relievers beginning the season on the disabled list.
Right-handers Shawn Tolleson and Tanner Scheppers will be short of the 12- to 14-inning workload that manager Jeff Banister prefers for one-inning relievers each spring. They were assured of season-opening jobs earlier in camp.
Tolleson (forearm) pitched in a minor-league game Sunday night without issue and is scheduled to pitch in another minor-league game Tuesday. Scheppers had a precautionary MRI on his right ankle Monday, more than three weeks after a mild sprain of the ankle during conditioning drills.
Neither has worked on back-to-back days, another regular-season prerequisite. Nevertheless, Scheppers could pitch Tuesday or Wednesday and be on track for Monday’s opener at Oakland if the MRI shows nothing alarming. Tolleson thinks he can be ready for the opener.
“But that decision ultimately isn’t up to me,” he said.
Banister said that the importance of being available for the majority of the season takes precedence over being ready for Day One.
“This is a 162-game season plus the playoffs,” Banister said. “If it’s necessary to be conservative, it’s necessary to be conservative.”
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760