Sep 24, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers relief pitcher Tanner Scheppers (52) throws a pitch in the eighth inning of the game against the Houston Astros at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Texas Rangers beat the Houston Astros 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Arlington, Texas – In less than 5 hours Opening Day for the Texas Rangers will be here. To me it is interesting to have the first game an inter-league game against the Philadelphia Phillies. For the Phillies, it is probably a good thing because they’ll have the advantage of using the designated hitter spot.
Washington doesn’t just give a player a spot on the roster: Also, many people are not very optimistic with Tanner Scheppers on the mound in place of Yu Darvish. True, Scheppers was a candidate for a closer/reliever for the Rangers, but Ron Washington said when spring training started he would give him a chance to earn a spot in the starting rotation. Schepper did just that, he earned his spot and he pitched well enough to be the Texas Rangers Opening day pitcher.
If you are wondering how he earned it, he did it by pitching very well during spring training. He an ERA of 3.07 over 4 games/ 14.2 innings with 14 strike outs. Along with his solid numbers, Scheppers also showed some of the intangibles. During a couple of his outings, Scheppers was hit early or close plays resulted in base runners. He was able to shake off the bad or close players and focus on the batter in the box. He showed that he had the mental strenght to be a starting pitcher and get himself and the team out of a jam. Ron Washington isn’t a manager that will just give a player a spot on the roster just because of what he did last year, he wants to know what a player is going to do right now. And with Scheppers, he thought he saw enough to prove Scheppers earned his spot.
Who’s on second: Another area of concern for Rangers fans is loss of Jurickson Profar. The Rangers recently acquired second baseman Donnie Murphy who has made an intimidate impact in the lineup. Even before Opening day there has been worry that Profar wouldn’t make it on the Opening day 25-man roster. The Rangers had a Adam Rosales and Josh Wilson in the mix to replace him if needed.
After Profar was injured, the Rangers signed Donnie Murphy to help fill the void. It seemed for a long time that Rosales would replace him, but now we know that Josh Wilson and Donnie Murphy will split the time until Profar is ready to come back. The Rangers designated Adam Rosales, and reportedly lost about 750k on him. He had a horrible spring training with the bat, and only a decent time fielding the ball, so it wasn’t a huge surprise.
It’s time!: Opening day is here! This sun is shining and there is a slight breeze. I bet when Fielder woke up and saw the wind he had a smile on his face. The fence to right will seem very short to him. Despite all of the injuries to the team, the Rangers should still do very well this year. They’ll just have to tread water for a few weeks, then they’ll have Colby Lewis, Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison back. Shortly after that, Geovany Soto and Jurickson Profar. Rangers will have another exciting year, time to get it started!