Rangers put Tanner Scheppers in rotation, going with Joakim Soria at closer

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Today was decision day for the Rangers, as manager Ron Washington made some important calls about the composition of his pitching staff. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that Washington will put Tanner Scheppers in the rotation and transition Alexi Ogando into a set-up role. In turn, he has opted for Joakim Soria over Neftali Feliz for the closer role.

Scheppers entered spring training as a long shot to secure a rotation spot, but injuries to Derek Holland and Matt Harrison and a poor spring from Ogando opened the door. The 27-year-old right-hander has also pitched well during Cactus League play, posting a 3.07 ERA and 14/4 K/BB ratio over 14 2/3 innings. This includes an impressive outing yesterday. Scheppers, who had a a 1.88 ERA in 76 2/3 innings out of the Rangers bullpen last season, has only made 12 starts in pro ball, all of them in the minors. Despite the inexperience, the Rangers are willing to experiment.

Feliz was considered the early favorite to replace Joe Nathan at closer, but he has shown diminished velocity this spring while allowing four runs on 11 hits and one walk over eight innings. Meanwhile, Soria has allowed just two baserunners over six scoreless innings. Washington said that Feliz’s role is yet to be determined and that he’s still competing for a job.

Report: Blake Treinen signs one-year, $10 million deal with Dodgers

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Free agent reliever Blake Treinen has signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Dodgers, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports.

Treinen, 31, was non-tendered by the Athletics last week as he entered his third year of arbitration eligibility. Despite finishing as arguably baseball’s best reliever in 2018, Treinen had a disappointing 2019 campaign, posting a 4.91 ERA with 16 saves, 59 strikeouts, and 37 walks over 58 2/3 innings.

Treinen will join the back of the Dodgers’ bullpen along with Joe Kelly, Pedro Báez, and Kenley Jansen. Jansen still figures to be the closer, but Treinen could eventually assume the role if he comes back into form and Jansen doesn’t.