Rangers promote prospect Tanner Scheppers to Triple-A

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Earlier this week I wondered if Tanner Scheppers could be close to joining Neftali Feliz and Frank Francisco as late-inning options in Texas’ bullpen.
He’s one step closer this afternoon, as the Rangers promoted him from Double-A to Triple-A after the 23-year-old right-hander posted a 0.82 ERA, .079 opponents’ batting average, and 19/0 K/BB ratio in 11 ridiculously dominant innings.
Assuming he continues to toy with Triple-A hitters, my guess is that we’ll see Scheppers setting up Feliz (or Francisco) in Texas by July. Last season the Rangers waited until August to call up Feliz, but he was two years younger than Scheppers is now and perhaps needed some extra time to make the transition from starter to reliever. Scheppers is being groomed as a reliever and it’s tough to see the Rangers letting him blow away the Pacific Coast League for long.

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.