Scheppers to DL with elbow, forearm inflammation
ARLINGTON -- Tanner Scheppers has been dealing with soreness in his right elbow since Spring Training. He told the Rangers about it after his start on Thursday against the Mariners and is going on the disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow and forearm.
The Rangers brought up left-handed reliever Aaron Poreda from Triple A on Friday to help out in the bullpen and are planning to call up rookie right-hander Nick Martinez on Tuesday to pitch against the Athletics in Oakland. Scheppers is expected to be shut down for at least ten days before resuming a throwing program.
"I think he's probably been dealing with some soreness," general manager Jon Daniels said. "He indicated yesterday to us he's been dealing with some soreness. He had not been getting treatment. We weren't aware with it. He had a little bit of soreness in Spring Training. He was examined at that time and was fine and pitched through. I think knowing that now it might be connected. He wasn't feeling 100 percent and probably wasn't performing at 100 percent level because of it."
Daniels declined to say if Scheppers will end up back in the bullpen but that appears to be a strong possibility. Both Matt Harrison and Joe Saunders could end up coming off the disabled list before Scheppers.
"He's a starter," Daniels said. "We'll have a call to make just with some of the guys getting healthy and coming back. Seeing how he recovers from this deal but we have not yet talked to Tanner about any change or roles. I'm not saying that it won't be a conversation. We will talk about it. We haven't made any decisions at this point."
Scheppers has spent the past two seasons as a reliever before moved into the rotation this season, leaving open the question if the increased workload contributed to the injury.
"I don't know," Daniels said. "Obviously we've thought about it. Listen, guys as we see around the league, starters get hurt, relievers get hurt. I think it's easy to draw a connection to the role but I don't think anybody really knows for sure."
Said Scheppers, "I really don't think it has anything to do with me starting pitching. I am doing something that I haven't done in a long time."
Scheppers underwent an MRI on Thursday night and the exam revealed no damage to the ligament other than normal wear and tear.
"It's something that I thought was tendinitis," Scheppers said. "I got the MRI results and it was clean. All good news. It's just I'm not feeling 100 percent out there and I'm not going to be helping the team by going out there and pushing through some injuries and not giving them everything I can.
"It started as soon as spring. It's something I kind of felt towards the end of last year. It's something I kind of battled through spring. It quite hasn't gotten better the way we would like. Right now we kind of want to take a step back, get healthy because there's no point going through and pushing through something like this."
Scheppers was the Rangers Opening Day starter but is 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA. In 18 1/3 innings, Scheppers has allowed 27 hits and eight walks with 13 strikeouts. Scheppers was 6-2 with a 1.88 ERA in 76 games as a reliever last year and opponents hit .214 off him.
"My pitches aren't doing what they normally are," Scheppers said. "I'm not getting quite the extension and that comes to pitches being left up and breaking balls not being as sharp. All that kind of accumulates and you lose a little bit of location and when you a little bit of location at this point it's something that can build up and you don't get the results.
"I kept battling in my mind. Nothing that got real worse after I threw but it was something that was always there. I need to take some time and get it right because I'm not helping anybody by going out there like that."
Martinez, who has a 1.86 ERA in two starts at Double A Frisco, has one spot start against the Rays in the fifth game of the season while Yu Darvish was on the disabled list. He went six innings and allowed three runs on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts. He left with a 4-3 lead but the Rays rallied to win the game.
"The guy did a heckuva job, first time starting, in his home state," manager Ron Washington said. "To get us six innings against a team that at the time was playing extremely well, he deserves a lot of credit. I hope when he gets back up here, he can build off it."