Scheppers ready for any role on Rangers' staff

Scheppers ready for any role on Rangers' staff

FRISCO, Texas -- The Rangers have suggested there is a possibility reliever Tanner Scheppers could go into the starting rotation this season. There is also a possibility he could replace Joe Nathan as their closer.

"I want to do both," Scheppers said. "But it's not my decision to make that call. The people in that position will tell me what to do."

Scheppers was a big part of an outstanding bullpen in 2013. Serving as the Rangers' primary setup reliever, he pitched in 76 games and was 6-2 with a 1.88 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. Now that Nathan has signed with the Tigers, Scheppers is one of three candidates to serve as the Rangers' closer along with former All-Stars Neftali Feliz and Joakim Soria.

The Rangers did not need another starter until earlier this week when Derek Holland tore cartilage in his left knee after falling down the stairs at his home. Holland underwent surgery on Friday and could be out until mid-season.

Nick Tepesch is the leading candidate to replace Holland, although the Rangers could sign somebody from outside the organization. The Rangers have re-signed Colby Lewis to a Minor League contract, but are also going to consider both Robbie Ross and Scheppers. Both were relievers last season, but have been told to come to camp prepared as a starter.

"I'm just going to go in there in the best shape of my life and be ready for whatever," Scheppers said.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for 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.