Scheppers Finally Makes The Move To Texas
ARLINGTON—Tanner Scheppers finally arrived where most anticipated he would have been much sooner: a major league roster.
The righthander, drafted three times and predicted to be a quick mover after being the 44th overall pick in 2009, had his Triple-A contract purchased by the Rangers on June 7 as Derek Holland went on the disabled list.
Scheppers, 25, pitched in relief of Yu Darvish a few hours later, surrendering one run in 12⁄3 innings during his big league debut at Oakland.
"It was definitely exciting to get out there, a dream come true," Scheppers said. "It was good to get out there day one. I found myself gripping the ball pretty tight at first."
But the Scheppers who pitched at O.co Coliseum looked considerably different than he had in spring training after refining his mechanics at the suggestion of Greg Maddux, who is a special assistant to general manager Jon Daniels.
Maddux and older brother Mike, the Rangers' pitching coach, had found a flaw that made it easy for hitters to pick up the ball against Scheppers. He now has a shorter stride and quicker pace that hides the ball better.
"I'm just trying to shorten up and keep it simple," said Scheppers. "When I get long on my back side is when I get in trouble. I was showing the ball behind my back. Now it's straight behind."
The 6-foot-4, 220 pound Scheppers had been Round Rock's closer before his promotion, and Daniels was in attendance for an appearance when Scheppers hit 100 mph. But fastball location is the key for Scheppers, who has a plus breaking ball.
He missed up in the strike zone with a two-seamer in his debut, and Brandon Moss deposited it into the right-field seats. But Scheppers wasn't complaining after an arm injury kept him from reaching terms with Pittsburgh as a second-round pick in 2008 and a back injury derailed him last season.
"I'm just happy it came and am blessed that they had the faith in me to give me an opportunity," Scheppers said. "Everybody has different paths. Mine just happened to be this way."
• Third baseman Tommy Mendonca (head bruise) and outfielders Julio Borbon (abdominal strain) and Leonys Martin (left thumb surgery) were activated June 7 at Round Rock and each homered in the same game June 9.
• Righthander Barret Loux continued his remarkable season for Double-A Frisco on June 7, when he beat San Antonio to improve to 11-0 after 12 starts. He had a 3.02 ERA after tossing five scoreless innings but was averaging just less than 52⁄3 innings per start.