Tepesch readies for major league debut

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Fifth starter Nick Tepesch made a pit stop in Arlington on Saturday, throwing a bullpen session with pitching coach Mike Maddux in advance of his major league debut Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Tepesch threw around 45 pitches on Saturday. That came after Thursday's season opener for Triple-A Round Rock, when he allowed an unearned run in five innings. He had five strikeouts and no walks.

"I made all of my pitches pretty well," Tepesch said. "I didn't command my slider as well as the spring really. Overall, my command was there and I commanded my fastball well."

Tepesch will return to Round Rock on Saturday -- he's not on the roster yet. Then he'll return to Arlington for his start. The 24-year-old Tepesch, who hadn't pitched above Double-A Frisco before this season, is trying to keep things as routine as possible.

"I'm not going to try to treat it differently than any other game," Tepesch said. "Try to keep it as normal as possible."

Tepesch said the closest thing he's had to Tuesday's debut was a relief appearance he made as a freshman for Missouri against Miami, Fla. in a NCAA regional series.

"I had never been in that situation," Tepesch said. "The regional. That's one I could think of off the top of my head. But it's a good feeling. That's why you play the game."

Tepesch said a group of about 20 family members, coaches and friends will be at his debut.