Tablet Sports

Rangers spring break: Infielder hoped groomsman was no-show last October

Sorry to see you

Texas Rangers catcher Brett Nicholas was hoping Nick Tepesch wasn’t at his wedding.

When Nicholas married his longtime girlfriend on Oct. 12 he expected one of his groomsmen would still be playing with the Rangers in the playoffs.

But Tepesch, a Rangers right-handed pitcher, was available because, well, you know.

“I told him I hope he doesn’t come,” said Nicholas, who became good friends with Tepesch while they were teammates at Missouri. “I told him, if you’re there, it’s great for the wedding. But we’re planning on you not being there and you guys making it to the World Series this year.”

Nicholas, 25, and his wife, Rachel, began dating when he was a sophomore at Pinnacle High School, north of Phoenix. He’s enjoying being in his hometown for spring training, where his family and friends can easily watch him play.

“I was fortunate enough to play in the fall league [here] and they were able to come out to a lot of games,” he said. “Having your mom and dad and your siblings, and now my wife, at the games makes it easy to come to the field every day and know you have family surrounding you, as well as the family that’s within the locker room, too.”

He’s a proud former Scottsdale Junior College Fighting Artichoke, for whom he was recruited by former Missouri and TCU assistant coach Tony Vitello.

“Everybody kind of gives us a hard time because we’re the Fighting Artichokes, but we embrace it and we love it,” he said about the unusual nickname. “It’s almost so bad it’s awesome.”

Injury updates

OF Leonys Martin (back tightness): He is day-to-day.

LHP Matt Harrison (lower back stiffness): Had no issues after a Thursday long-toss session. Next step has yet to be determined.

RHP Tanner Scheppers (back spasms): Had no issues after throwing live batting practice Thursday and will pitch two innings in Sunday’s game.

RHP Nick Tepesch (back stiffness): Had no issues after throwing live batting practice Friday and is scheduled to pitch two innings in Monday’s game.

2B Jurickson Profar (shoulder tendinitis): Continued throwing program without issue.

Word from Wash

“We’re going to shock the world. The first win of the season, watch what we do. We’re working on it.” — Rangers manager Ron Washington on what he and new bench coach Tim Bogar will do to celebrate wins in place of the hug that Washington and former coach Jackie Moore used.

Key stat

91 RBIs at Frisco for Brett Nicholas, who led the Texas League in 2013. He also led the league with 146 hits and 240 total bases.