Injuries forced the Rangers to make some last-minute adjustments to their rotation and they decided to give Tanner Scheppers the Opening Day start despite the fact that he’d never started a big-league game before.
It went poorly, as have his other starts, and now Scheppers may not be long for the rotation. Manager Ron Washington declined to feed into that speculation, but Scheppers has a 9.82 ERA while allowing a league-high 20 runs in 18 innings, serving up four homers. Last season, as a full-time reliever, he had a 1.88 ERA in 77 innings and his average fastball was 2.5 miles per hour faster in the bullpen.
Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas guesses that the Rangers will give Scheppers one more start to prove himself, as which point replacing him with Double-A right-hander Nick Martinez could be an option. Left-hander Matt Harrison is also nearly ready to come off the disabled list. And then the question would become whether the brief stint in the rotation will have a lingering negative impact on Scheppers’ work as a reliever.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Angels have received inquiries from multiple teams concerning starter Hector Santiago. He adds that the club is willing to listen to offers. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Marlins are among the teams that have inquired.
Santiago, 28, has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 47 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Sabermetric statistics such as FIP, xFIP, and SIERA think the lefty has pitched even worse than his ERA indicates however, pitting 2016 as his worst performance to date.
Santiago is earning $5 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2017.
We also learned earlier that, in an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Marlins have also shown interest in Wade Miley of the Mariners and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies.
The Rangers placed DH Prince Fielder on the disabled list last week due to more neck discomfort. On Friday, Fielder met with Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed spinal fusion surgery on Fielder in 2014 for a herniated disk in his neck. Dossett has recommended another procedure, so Fielder will undergo season-ending surgery this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.
Fielder was having a rough season, batting .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 370 plate appearances. He played in only 42 games in 2014, but returned in 2015 looking more like his old self. Unfortunately, neck and back issues are notoriously difficult to fix. Hopefully, this upcoming procedure does the trick for Fielder.
Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of it per season.