Apr 12, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux (right) and catcher J.P. Arencibia (left) meet starting pitcher Tanner Scheppers (52) on the mound for a conference during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Was Tanner Scheppers brought back too soon?

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Texas Rangers right-handed pitcher Tanner Scheppers appears to have been brought back to the team just a bit too soon.  Even before he was brought back to the team it was apparent in his rehab starts he wasn’t quite back to form.

Looking back to when he first started his rehab with the triple-A Round Rock Express, there were already signs of concern.  He pitched 3 games/3.2 innings with the Express and posted a 12.27 ERA, an opposing batters average of .389 and 2.18 WHIP.   Stats that bad don’t normally state a player is ready for the majors, normally it shows there are still a few things to work out.

The Rangers didn’t rush into bringing him up straight from Round Rock to Arlington, but instead sent him to double-A Frisco.  There he did pitch a little better by only allowing 2 hits and  1 run (0 earned runs) over 2 games/2.0 innings.

But if you watched his starts in Frisco he was still hit hard on almost every pitch.

Now that he’s with the Rangers things don’t look much different than they did on Opening day.  No need to rehash that nightmare, but he’s basically pitching about the same right now.   He’s pitched 4.2 innings since his return and has given up 4 hits, 4 runs (3 earned)  and has an opposing batters average of .235.   For June he has a 5.79 ERA, which has brought his season ERA down to 9.00.

Maybe Tanner Scheppers will figure it out soon, but over 3 of his 4 games he’s allowed runs to score.  Right now with the lack of offense, the Rangers can’t afford for the bullpen to allow very many or any runs that late in a game.

Last season Tanner Scheppers was one of best setup pitchers on the team.  He had the benefit of having closer Joe Nathan mentor him some last season also.  But this year he hasn’t been able to replicate what he did last season.  Last season he had a 1.88 ERA, record of 6-2, opposing batters average of .214 and 1.070 WHIP over 76 games/76.2 innings.

Right now 2013 Scheppers and 2014 Scheppers are as opposite as night and day.  Maybe his issues are still the lingering injury/soreness from last season.  Hopefully that isn’t the case and he’ll turn it around soon.

The Texas Rangers bullpen needs his help and for him to do what he did last season.  He is a good pitcher and can do job, maybe he just needs to get his confidence back.  Right now it seems like no one knows.  For now the Texas Rangers, Ron Washington, Jon Daniels and fans will just have to sit back and watch and see if he figures it out.

So was Tanner Scheppers brought back too soon?  In my opinion it might have been best to allow him to stay with Frisco for a few more games then back to Round Rock for a couple until he was able to effective pitch.  It seems like his lack of success in the minors has carried over to the majors.

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