Texas pushed Tanner Scheppers into its injury wrecked rotation, making him the Opening Day starter without any starting experience in the majors. He pitched horribly and then got hurt, and now that he’s close to being healthy again the Rangers can’t decide what to do with him.
Scheppers had a ton of success as a reliever last year, posting a 1.88 ERA in 77 innings, but the Rangers’ rotation remains wrecked by injuries and they could certainly use another quality starter in the mix. Of course, Scheppers had a 9.82 ERA in four starts while showing decreased velocity before being shut down with an elbow injury.
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that the Rangers “are at least planning to stretch out Scheppers during his rehabilitation assignment so they have the option of bringing him back as a starter.” And for whatever it’s worth, Scheppers has said repeatedly that he prefers to be a starter.
Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove is done for the year after suffering an abdominal wall muscle strain and stress reaction in his pelvic bone. While he isn’t expected to undergo surgery or miss additional time in 2019, he’s been prescribed six weeks of rest before resuming any baseball-related activities.
Musgrove, 25, finished out his third year in Pittsburgh with a 6-9 record in 19 starts, backed by a 4.06 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, and 7.8 SO/9. Despite logging a career-high 115 1/3 innings at the major league level, he’s also been dogged by a string of injuries, from the shoulder strain that robbed him of eight weeks at the start of the season to an index finger infection that kept him sidelined for a minimum 10-day stay on the disabled list in June.
While he works his way back up to full strength yet again, rookie right-hander Nick Kingham is expected to cover for him and will make a spot start during the Pirates’ series finale against the Brewers on Sunday. The 26-year-old righty hasn’t started a single game for the team since August 1, and currently carries a 4.69 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 over 71 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.