Tanner Scheppers is returning to the Texas Rangers, as a reliever.
Scheppers was activated off the disabled list Thursday after spending close to nine weeks on it with right elbow inflammation. Scheppers won a spot in the rotation and was named the Opening Day starter when Yu Darvish began the year on the disabled list.
But Scheppers never had much success in the starting role and complained about his elbow after his April 17 start. That landed him on the disabled list and the team decided to have him go on a medical rehabilitation assignment as a reliever.
Scheppers made five appearances during his rehab, allowing six runs (five earned) over 5 2/3 innings. He closed it out with a six-pitch scoreless inning for Double A Frisco on Tuesday.
“I’m ready to go,” said Scheppers, who gave up one run in one inning on an Adam Jones home run in the eighth Thursday. “It’s definitely nice to throw pain free, and I’m definitely excited for the opportunity. I can’t wait to come out of the gate.”
Scheppers said he’d be fine with any role and manager Ron Washington said he’d ease Scheppers back into high-leverage situations. Scheppers emerged as a dominant setup reliever last season and the hope is that he takes over that type of role as the season progresses.
“He can be big for us,” Washington said. “We know what he’s capable of doing.”
Left-hander Aaron Poreda was optioned back to Triple A Round Rock to clear a spot for Scheppers.