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Scheppers' status questionable after early exit

March 24, 2017

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rule 5 pick Mike Hauschild is winning a spot in the Rangers bullpen, while Tanner Scheppers' situation has suddenly become a mystery after leaving Friday's 4-3 win over the Padres with pain in his lower core. He is scheduled for an MRI Saturday to determine the cause

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rule 5 pick Mike Hauschild is winning a spot in the Rangers bullpen, while Tanner Scheppers' situation has suddenly become a mystery after leaving Friday's 4-3 win over the Padres with pain in his lower core. He is scheduled for an MRI Saturday to determine the cause and severity of the injury.
Those were the two biggest developments in Rangers camp on Friday even though most people wanted to watch Yu Darvish throw in a Minor League game.
Darvish's outing went well. He pitched for Triple-A Round Rock against Oklahoma City and allowed three runs (one earned) in six innings. He allowed four hits, walked one, struck out five and threw 90 pitches.
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"It was a good outing," Darvish said. "Even when I was behind in the count, I was able to get guys out with my sinker and groundouts."
Hauschild had another excellent outing out of the bullpen, pitching two scoreless innings and allowing one hit while striking out four. He has pitched eight scoreless innings in four relief appearances, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out nine.
He appears to be what the Rangers are looking for in a middle reliever.
Scheppers had a rough outing, allowing three runs in the eighth inning, including a two-run home run to Jamie Romak. He went back out for the ninth, walked the leadoff batter and struck out one. He then threw one pitch to Luis Torrens and pitching coach Doug Brocail went to the mound. Trainer Kevin Harmon joined him and Scheppers came out of the game.
"I'm not sure, we'll have to wait for the trainer's report," manager Jeff Banister said. "I just know he couldn't go. It was something in the lower half."
Scheppers has been set back by injuries in each of the past three seasons. He has been healthy this spring until Friday's outing, and appeared in position to make the Opening Day roster.
Now, that may be in doubt. Hauschild may be the one who is a sure thing.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.