Nick Tepesch Struggles in Spring Debut

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Nick Tepesch is in the mix to be the Texas Rangers fifth starter when the season begins, but after his first spring outing he may have stacked the deck in other potential candidate’s favor. Tepesch ended up going one and one-third innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits and a walk.

The rotation hopeful allowed two runs in the top of the first, and when he came out to start the second he was greeted by Matt Duffy, who lead off the inning with a solo shot to left. The Giants then strung together some hits and plated the rest of their seven runs against Tepesch, giving him an early ERA of 47.25.

Another contender for the fifth spot, Anthony Ranaudo came on in the third and pitched two scoreless innings allowing one hit and one walk, while striking out one.

Along with Anthony Ranaudo (Robbie Ross trade) and Nick Tepesch, the other names being floated in the competition are Ross Detwiler, Nick Martinez, and Lisalverto Bonilla (Michael Young trade). Bonilla pitched two innings on Wednesday, allowing one unearned run along with three walks while striking out two.

Detwiler has yet to pitch, but he could be the early favorite to round out the rotation due to his experience in the big leagues. Over the last four seasons in Washington Detwiler has a cumulative 3.55 ERA. Even with his ERA set to increase solely by pitching in Arlington, that 3.55 is a good base point to project from.

While Nick Tepesch’s struggles today don’t knock him out of the running by any means, spring training is a condensed period of time to lay claim to a spot on the 25-man roster, and that’s doubly true for pitchers. Each outing has to count, and Friday’s certainly didn’t.

Who do you think will end up as the Rangers fifth starter when camp breaks? Let us know in the comments below!

Next: Rangers Roundup

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