This morning I wrote about how the Rangers had to be considering removing Tanner Scheppers from the rotation given his awful performance through four starts and now they’ve placed him on the disabled list with elbow inflammation. According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com an MRI exam revealed no structural damage, but he’ll be shut down for at least 10 days.
Scheppers’ velocity has been down 2.5 miles per hour compared to last season, but that’s likely due mostly to shifting from the bullpen to the rotation and his average fastball of 93.8 miles per hour is still pretty damn fast.
However, after throwing 77 innings with a 1.88 ERA as a full-time reliever last season Scheppers coughed up 20 runs in 18 innings as a starter this year, which is not what the Rangers had in mind after naming him their Opening Day starter despite zero big-league starts under his belt.
Left-hander Matt Harrison is fairly close to coming off the disabled list to make his season debut, but if the Rangers need a fill-in starter for 1-2 more turns in the rotation Double-A right-hander Nick Martinez could get the nod.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.