Injuries to Colby Lewis, Neftali Feliz, and Martin Perez have forced the Rangers to dig deeper into their pitching depth than they’d like and they’ve picked Nick Tepesch as their fifth starter.
Tepesch is 24 years old and has yet to pitch above Double-A. And in fact he wasn’t even all that good at Double-A, making 14 starts there with a 4.28 ERA, 68/26 K/BB ratio, and 97 hits allowed in 90 innings.
Robbie Ross and Michael Kirkman were also in the running for the spot, but the Rangers decided they preferred them both in the bullpen and opted not to make a run at free agent Kyle Lohse. Instead they’ll hope that Tepesch can hold his own until Lewis or Perez is ready in a couple months.
In the Major League Baseball system, the people are entertained by two separate yet equally important groups. The players who play the game and the umpires who call the balls, strikes and outs. These are their stories.
Wait, that’s not true. They’re not equally important and we certainly don’t want to hear the umpires’ stories. If the stories are about the umpires it usually that means they’ve screwed up.
Not always, though! In 2013, you may recall, I wrote a story about an umpire who made a much talked about call in a World Series game that (a) happened to be right, even if it was much-debated; and (b) his story is one I’ve always found compelling, even if he’s most famous for a call he got wrong.
Jim Joyce, though, an umpire who was widely admired and respected despite his famous blunders, is one of the few exceptions to the rule about what it means to know an umpires’ name. Most of the time we’re all lucky — umpires included — if the introductions are the first and last time we hear of them.
Here they are for the 2018 World Series, with Game 1 assignments noted:
Home: Tim Timmons
1B: Kerwin Danley
2B: Ted Barrett — Crew Chief
3B: Chad Fairchild
LF: Jeff Nelson
Replay, Games 1-2: Fieldin Culbreth
Replay, Game 3-End: Tim Timmons