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Scheppers making case for spot in bullpen

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers, fully recovered from offseason surgery on his big right toe, is making his move toward clinching a spot in the bullpen. He has thrown five scoreless innings in his last four outings.

"The last four times he has thrown the ball well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's coming on and he's doing it at the right time ... down the stretch. Hopefully with the success he's had, his confidence will grow."

Scheppers, who had a 4.45 ERA in 39 games for the Rangers as a rookie last year, underwent surgery on Halloween for a case of "turf toe," which bothered him at the end of the season. He also had a strained left hamstring midway through Spring Training and that sidelined him for a week. Those issues are behind him.

"Things are starting to feel good," Scheppers said. "My body feels good and my arm feels good. I don't know where my velocity is at, I just know the ball feels good coming out. That's all that matters."

Scheppers is the hardest throwing pitcher in camp and the Rangers want a power right-handed reliever to go with Jason Frasor late in the game. Scheppers and Josh Lindblom are the two prime candidates.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.
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