Texas Rangers rookie pitcher Nick Tepesch is making the fourth start of his young career tonight as the team takes the field in the first of a four-game series vs. the Minnesota Twins. Before the season began, Tepesch wasn’t expected to be part of the starting rotation for the ball club, but with injuries to starter Matt Harrison and the once-frontrunner for the No. 5 spot Martin Perez, he was unexpectedly called into action. In order for the Rangers to hold their early division lead, they need to be able to count on the twenty-four year-old Tepesch.
In his 14.2 innings pitched so far this season, Tepesch has been solid. He has given up five hits and five earned runs for a 3.07 ERA. Additionally, he’s racked up 13 strikeouts. The team suffered a scare in his last start when he was hit by a line drive and was pulled in just the second inning, but it appears that his injuries were minor and he is ready to take the mound tonight.
Justin Grimm, in just his second year, has also been called into action for the Rangers. In ten innings of work, Grimm has given up eleven hits but has only allowed three earned runs while posting eleven strikeouts for a 2.70 ERA.
With Harrison out for an unknown amount of time and Perez and Colby Lewis not expected back for several weeks, the Rangers’ starting pitching staff has taken an early hit. If the team is going to have a chance this year, they need to be able to count on these young pitchers to help shoulder the load. At least for now.