ARLINGTON -- The Rangers remain undecided about their starter for Tuesday's game against the Rays, although Nick Tepesch has not been ruled out despite appearing in relief on Friday night.
Tepesch pitched an inning and gave up two runs on three hits and three walks in the Rangers' 9-8 loss to the Athletics. He threw 23 pitches. It was his third appearance since coming off the disabled list, after missing almost two months with inflammation in his right elbow. He started against the Angels on Aug 8, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk, while throwing 63 pitches.
"He's still in the mix," said manager Ron Washington. "We knew there was a certain amount of pitches we could get out of him that would keep him available for Tuesday."
The other candidates are right-hander Alexi Ogando and left-hander Travis Blackley. Ogando has not allowed a run in three relief appearances since his return from the DL on Sept. 4. But he hasn't thrown more than 28 pitches in any of those appearances. He is still available out of the Rangers' bullpen for now.
Blackley is 1-1 with a 5.02 ERA in three starts since being acquired from the Astros. But he has complained of a "dead arm." That's why the Rangers are considering alternatives, though Blackley threw a scoreless inning against the Athletics on Friday night.
"He hadn't pitched in a while, and it looked like he got his arm strength back," Washington said. "It looked like he was having a dead arm there. First time he pitched, it was around 90-91 mph, and then the third time it was in the middle-80s. He told us that the arm was feeling good -- just nothing coming out of it. About three days ago, it started coming back."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.