Tanner Scheppers may be the bullpen solution, what would be better for the Texas Rangers? Right now Texas has been linked to almost every possible available relief pitcher, most recently K-Rod of the Mets. All of these trades would involve packaging prospects for a player who would most-likely become a free agent in the winter.
I present to you, the “Scheppers Solution”. Ranger fans have been well aware of his presence in the minor league systems for the last few seasons. This season he was projected in the starting rotation for Triple-A Round Rock, and we have detailed here at Nolan Writin’ how he was injured and recently joined the bullpen in Frisco.
The hard throwing righty has been outstanding against Double-A competition. In four games with the Frisco RoughRiders he has only allowed one run, and that was unearned. Obviously you don’t want to get too wrapped up in the small sample size but it’s certainly worth getting excited about.
Scheppers threw two innings in Corpus Christi against the Hooks, (the Houston Astros Double-A Affiliate). We were in town visiting family and they bought tickets for us to attend the game. I wasn’t paying attention when they brought in Scheppers in relief (still agonizing over the rough Brandon Webb, we saw earlier). I watched as he rocked back and forth and instantly recognized him. He was very impressive in person, sat in the low 90’s with his fastball, and was able to touch 96mph. His off-speed pitch really confused hitters, and was able to get a good combination of ground balls and fly balls, as well as a strikeout. I should also note here, that his 6 outs were the first six batters in the line-up. He took care of Jimmy Paredes, Jose Altuve, and JD Martinez – all very good hitters for the Astros organization.
He faced the Astros again last night, and went another two innings. Last night he picked up three strikeouts and allowed a hit. He walked away from the game with a win, and another confident outing.
Tanner Scheppers could be the eighth-inning guy for the Rangers, and I know with such an untested player this would be a gamble. Regardless, move him up to Round Rock, and give him a couple of innings. From there bring him up to Arlington. This way you get him enough time, and see if he sinks or swims. If Texas were to make a trade for a veteran reliever, you could slot Scheppers in the seventh inning also.
The Rangers need to do something to help this bullpen; this could be a simple move. Let’s get some steam behind the “Scheppers Solution”!