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Tepesch gets early look as starter


SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers play their two intrasquad games at noon MT on Tuesday and Wednesday on the Nolan Ryan Field. Three of the four starting pitchers will be in the Rangers' rotation: Yu Darvish and Alexi Ogando on Tuesday and Matt Harrison on Wednesday. The fourth starter will be rookie right-hander Nick Tepesch.

Tepesch was a 14th-round Draft pick from the University of Missouri in 2010, who is coming quickly through the Rangers' system and earned a non-roster invite to Spring Training. He started last season at Class A Myrtle Beach and went 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 12 starts. He was then promoted to Double-A Frisco and went 6-3 with a 4.28 ERA in 16 games.

"I heard that it was a big jump to Double-A from high-A, but I felt if I took control of what I needed to do, it would work out," Tepesch said. "It was definitely a good year for me. I felt like the command of my pitches got a lot better. I just need to keep refining my delivery and become more consistent."

Tepesch is a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation, but is obviously a long-shot given his lack of experience. But nobody gave Robbie Ross a chance to make the team last season.

"Everybody knows what he did, but I'm not comparing myself to anybody," Tepesch said. "I'm going to do what I can do and whatever happens, happens."

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