Tanner Scheppers knows that the Texas Rangers have more established starters getting closer to returning to the big leagues. Colby Lewis is expected to return Monday or Tuesday, and Matt Harrison could be ready by April 23.
But Scheppers isn’t too concerned about how those developments might affect his status of staying in the rotation. He is scheduled to make his third start tonight against Houston, and believes there are many more to come. Scheppers doesn’t feel he has to worry about going back to the bullpen even though he emerged as a shutdown setup man last season.
“The expectations I have for myself, I feel if I come anywhere near my goals, I shouldn’t worry about it,” Scheppers said. “That’s really all I can do. Every start I get under my belt, I’m going to get better and that would be the goal. Stuff like that is one of those things you can’t control, so I try to focus on the stuff I can control.”
The one area Scheppers would like to improve is how deep he goes into a game. He lasted only four innings in his Opening Day start, and five innings in his last start Monday in Boston.
As a former reliever, Scheppers understands the importance of eating innings and keeping the bullpen as fresh as possible. He said he would like to last at least seven innings in each of his starts.
• Right-hander and Rule 5 pick Seth Rosin, who made his big-league debut with the Rangers earlier this month before being designated for assignment Wednesday, cleared waivers and was sent back to the Philadelphia Phillies.
• Friday marked the 20th anniversary of the first regular season game at Rangers Ballpark. The club commemorated the moment by having former Arlington mayor Richard Greene throw out the first pitch and giving the first 15,000 fans a replica of the stadium.
• The City of San Antonio will have a strong presence at tonight’s game with kiosks set up throughout the stadium. The San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau will give away five trips to San Antonio during the game and San Antonio resident Army Staff Sgt. Delvin Maston, who served four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, will throw out the first pitch.