Scheppers Named Opening Day Starting Pitcher

The Rangers have selected Tanner Scheppers as their Opening Day starter – he replaces Yu Darvish who has been having neck and back pain. They’ve also added Nick Martinez to the rotation – he will be the 5th starter.

Alexi Ogando joins the bullpen – which is the Rangers preferred position for him.

More on the website later.

Update on Darvish

Pitcher Yu Darvish was examined by Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas today. The Rangers were told that Darvish has no structural damage, that he can resume throwing on Saturday. When he returns to Surprise and starts throwing the Rangers will devise a plan for his return to the rotation.

More on the website later.

Rangers Claim IF Murphy

Reports out of Chicago say the Rangers have claimed IF Donnie Murphy off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. The Rangers have not announced anything about this waiver claim.

More on the website later.

Summing up a Big Day of Pitching…Rotation appears set…Bullpen in flux

Here is the state of the Rangers pitching…

Robbie Ross and Joe Saunders are in the rotation. Ross won a spot by a knockout and the Rangers need Saunders because he eats innings. They join Tanner Scheppers and Martin Perez. If you go by Spring Training, Ross should be the Opening Day pitcher but it could be anybody.

If Yu Darvish goes on the disabled list, the Rangers will put Alexi Ogando back in the rotation. He was supposed to be in the bullpen but all bets are off now.

Right now the Rangers bullpen is built around closer Joakim Soria, left-hander Neal Cotts and right-hander Jason Frasor. Look for right-hander Shawn Tolleson to make the team. Ryan Freierabend and Pedro Figueroa are still in the hunt for a left-handed spot.

Soria and Ross tied for having the best spring of any Rangers pitcher, with Tanner Scheppers a close third.

The Rangers brought right-handed pitching prospect Nick Martinez to Goodyear. He pitched two scoreless innings. The Rangers are even looking at him to reinforce their bullpen.

Michael Kirkman is out of options but with the state of the Rangers pitching staff, he will likely make the team as a long reliever at least.

The Rangers will find out Wednesday what is going to happen with Tommy Hanson. He may go to the bullpen. He may take his free agency. He is not going to the rotation.

Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis still hoping to be back sometime in April. Derek Holland hopes to throw off a mound next week.

Neftali Feliz? Who knows. The road back is not over for him.

Lewis won’t be active on Opening Day

Pitcher Colby Lewis will not be on the active roster for Opening Day. He is scheduled to pitch on Wednesday and again on April 1 in a Minor League game. After that the Rangers will make a decision on where Lewis stands in his comeback.

Right now the Rangers Opening Day rotation figures to be Martin Perez, Tanner Scheppers and Joe Saunders with two starters to be named later. Robbie Ross could at least start the season in the rotation until some injured pitchers return. Tommy Hanson remains in limbo and the Rangers have to decide by Wednesday if they are willing to guarantee his contract.

Feliz to the Minors

The Rangers are optioning pitcher Neftali Feliz to the Minor Leagues so he can continue his recovery from Tommy John elbow surgery. Aaron Poreda and Rafael Perez being in sent to Minor League camp.

Rangers sign catcher Chris Snyder

The Rangers have signed catcher Chris Snyder to a Minor League contract. He’ll likely catch at Triple A Round Rock. He was released by the Nationals.

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