Tanner Scheppers says when he returns in 2015 he’ll be back in the bullpen.
The right-hander, who has been out since June 11 with elbow inflammation, has spent much of the season on the disable list and will not return this season.
“It is definitive. I will be a reliever for next year,” Scheppers said before Tuesday night’s game. “I think everyone kind of agreed that it’s probably the best thing for the organization. I’m not shutting down that I want to be a starter at some point in my career, but in the near future I’m going to be in a relief role.”
Scheppers was converted to a starter after 115 relief appearances combined in 2012 and 2013. He had a 1.88 ERA in 76 2/3 innings last season. In 2014, he made four starts in eight games with a 9.00 ERA in 23 innings before the injury.
“Once it happened again I think they wanted to take a more precautionary route and make sure it got right this time instead of rushing back,” he said. “It’s definitely disappointing but at the same time I’ve got to take care of what I need to take care of right now to get healthy.”
He’s doing that with rehab work at Dr. Keith Meister’s facility and working out at Globe Life Park. He hopes to start a throwing program in a few weeks. It’ll be closer to eight weeks before he’s throwing from a mound, he said.
“Doing everything without touching a baseball. It’s all I really can do,” said Scheppers, who added he wants to do whatever it is that gets him back on the field. If that’s returning to the bullpen, so be it.
“I’m not really in that position to make that call. I just want to play again at this point. That’s really all it comes down to; they have more faith in the fact that I’ve done it before and I think I do too.”