Arlington, Texas – On Wednesday, the Texas Rangers announced that RHP Tanner Scheppers will be the team’s opening-day starter on Monday, March 31, when the club takes on the Philadelphia Phillies at Globe Life Park.
After a standout college career at Fresno State, Scheppers pitched for the American Association’s St. Paul Saints in 2009, going 1-1 with a 3.32 ERA in four starts. He was then chosen 44th overall by the Rangers in that year’s June Amateur Draft.
From there, the native of Mission Viejo, Calif., spent two and a half seasons in the Texas system before getting called up to the majors during the 2012 campaign. Scheppers was dominant out of the bullpen in 2013 for the Rangers, going 6-2 with a 1.88 ERA in a team-high 76 appearances.
Opening Day will also mark Scheppers’ first start in the big leagues; he is only the second pitcher since World War II to have his first major-league start take place during a team’s season opener (Los Angeles’ Fernando Valenzuela was the other, in 1981).
Scheppers, 27, is one of 10 American Association alumni, all pitchers, who appeared in the big leagues in 2013.
Photo: St. Paul Saints