Scheppers throws but return still uncertain

HOUSTON -- Tanner Scheppers threw 25-30 pitches Tuesday afternoon, but he’s not sure when he’ll be ready to pitch for the Rangers.

Or what role he’ll have when he returns.

“I don’t think I have guarantees on this staff,” Scheppers said. “I don’t think I showed anything to prove me to be a guaranteed starter.

“I wasn't fully healthy when I was throwing. I was throwing through some stuff. Hopefully, they put that into the equations, but it’s out of my control.”

Scheppers is 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA this season. He’s allowed 27 hits in 18 and one-third innings with only 13 strikeouts and eight walks.

And he’s allowed four homers. He allowed six all of last season.

Last season, he was 6-2 with a 1.88 ERA in 76 appearances. He asked the Rangers for an opportunity to start in the offseason and the cub acquiesced.

“My intention is to be a starter. I jumped into that this offseason and tried to make it a priority,” Scheppers said. “It’s something I think i can do.

“The injury isn’t because I was starting. Guys go down, as you can see, no matter how hard they work.”

The smart money says Scheppers will return to the bullpen whenever he’s healthy. He would fit nicely in the Rangers’ bullpen just like he did handling the setup job last season.

The Rangers have used Alexi Ogando, Neal Cotts and Jason Frasor in the eighth inning with varying degrees of success.

Joakim Soria has been excellent as a closer this season. Getting him the ball has been the issue.