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Rangers pondering Tepesch's next assignment

Rangers pondering Tepesch's next assignment

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Rangers pondering Tepesch's next assignment

OAKLAND -- Right-hander Nick Tepesch came off the disabled list and pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings against the Athletics on Monday afternoon. Now the Rangers are trying to decide if he's ready to go back in the rotation in place of Travis Blackley.

Blackley had been scheduled to pitch Saturday against the Angels. Instead, the Rangers, with an off-day on Thursday, are pushing up Derek Holland so he can pitch on his normal four days' rest. The Rangers are officially undecided on who will pitch on Sunday. They don't plan on using Martin Perez on four days' rest, manager Ron Washington said.

"We'll just see," Washington said. "It could be Blackley, it could be Tepesch, it could be somebody else."

It will not be Alexi Ogando. He was activated off the DL on Tuesday but is not ready to return to the rotation. He is in the bullpen for now and Washington said he'll try to find a non-pressure situation to use Ogando for the first time.

Tepesch entered Monday's game in the fifth inning with the Rangers down by two. The Athletics had two on with two out. Tepesch retired Alberto Callaspo on a grounder to first; then retired nine of 10 batters in the final three innings.

"A tremendous job," Washington said. "He was able to spot his fastball, he used his slider, sunk the ball. He did a great job, he really did. He certainly didn't look rusty."

It was the first time Tepesch pitched in a Major League game since going on the DL July 7 with inflammation in his right elbow. He needed just 28 pitches to get through his first relief appearance at the big league level.

"It felt good to be back out there," Tepesch said. "They were being aggressive in putting the ball in play and I was trying to be aggressive and take advantage of it."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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