Tanner Scheppers was considered a top-20 talent who dropped to the Rangers with the 44th overall pick in the 2009 draft because of an arm injury, but now back problems are slowing his rise to the majors.
Scheppers began the season on the disabled list at Triple-A with back problems, came off the shelf to make one appearance, and has now been returned to the DL with the same injury.
Scheppers racked up 90 strikeouts between Double-A and Triple-A last season and if healthy the hard-throwing right-hander has a good chance to join the Rangers’ bullpen at some point this season.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.