Texas Rangers Acquire Starting Pitcher in Deal with Brewers
By Andrew Webb
General manager Jon Daniels has decided to add more pitching depth to the Texas Rangers squad. This could be because the team recently sent Tyson Ross to the bullpen, and are looking for another starting pitcher.
On Saturday, the Texas Rangers acquired pitcher Paolo Espino from the Milwaukee Brewers. In exchange for the 30-year-old pitcher the Brewers will get cash considerations from Texas. The Rangers also designated Tanner Scheppers for assignment.
This season Scheppers has pitched in just a handful of games with Texas. He allowed three earned runs in four innings, but surprisingly hasn’t pitched much better in the minors. In 30 appearances with Triple-A Round Rock this season Scheppers has a 5.05 ERA.
His career in Arlington could be over, but hopefully Espino will have a longer stay in Texas. This season Espino is 0-0 with a 6.11 ERA in six games (two starts) with the Brewers. He’s pitched better in the minors than with the Major League club.
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In 16 games (14 starts) in Triple-A Espino has a 4.52 ERA and 73 strikeouts. He’s not a hard-throwing strikeout pitcher, but knows how to command the strike zone. The Rangers are just looking for someone who can last longer than Tyson Ross.
This move isn’t going to change much in Arlington if anything at all. This looks like it’s a depth move to get more arms for September call ups. This now gives the Rangers two soft-tossing right-handed pitchers.
We could see the Rangers move Austin Bibens-Dirkx or Espino to the starting rotation soon. The other will go into the bullpen. This is an interesting move for Texas, but low risk and likely low reward.
During his long minor league career Espino has put together solid seasons. We’re not looking at an ace pitcher though, but he could fill-in nicely at the back-end of the starting rotation if needed. Texas doesn’t lose much and gains at least one more arm for a playoff push.