Scheppers' goal as a starter? Stay healthy

Scheppers' goal as a starter? Stay healthy

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Tanner Scheppers has a simple goal as a starting pitcher.

"Just stay healthy for a full year," Scheppers said. "Try to make every start, stay focused on my routine and really focus on my body."

Scheppers is going into the rotation after being used as a reliever for most of his four-year professional career, He made one start in Triple-A in 2011 and seven in 2010. So he knows that the biggest question is if he'll hold up for an entire season under the new workload.

"Time will tell," Scheppers said. "But I'll prepare for every one of my starts and put the work in necessary to give the team a chance to win."

General manager Jon Daniels said the Rangers talked at length about the endurance issue before deciding to put Scheppers in the rotation. The Rangers won't have set pitch counts or an innings limit on Scheppers, but will monitor him closely.

"Pitching is tough regardless," Daniels said. "He made 76 appearances in the big leagues and there were a number of times he got up but didn't get in the game. That's not easy. He is going to have to be honest with us and use common sense. There are no rules. If there are, we haven't figured it out. It's about a lot of communication and common sense."

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.