Nick Tepesch is eyeing a spot in the rotation once again. He had decent numbers for a rookie in 17 starts in 2013. He went 4-6 with a 4.84 ERA. The radar gun isn’t a particular item you break out when Tepesch is on the mound as he averages a fastball around 91-92 mph.
When he got in trouble, he relied heavily on his slider and curve and became predictable to hitters. This offseason and going into spring training, Nick is working on his change-up to add to the arsenal. The change of speed makes a bigger difference to batters than a slider moving horizontally at almost the same speed as the fastball.
Tepesch had won the job last season after spring training, but sat out the second half with elbow inflammation. He is already stretched out and used to being a starter as opposed to relievers Robbie Ross and Tanner Scheppers who are also working out to become emergency starters.
“It’s definitely unfortunate what happened to Derek,” Tepesch said. “I hope he gets better as soon as possible. From my standpoint, I’m not changing anything. My goal coming into Spring Training is to win a job.”
The Rangers southpaw suffered a knee injury in a fall at home last week. The good news is that he did not take any damage to his ACL or MCL, but the bad news is that he did tear cartilage. As of right now, it is looking like Holland is going to be out until at least mid-season.
“I’m devastated by this injury,” Holland said. “It was a freak accident at home that resulted in a hard fall on my knee”.
Holland loves hockey and played in a club game on Monday night, and suffered his injury Tuesday. Hockey is a tough sport and it is possible that he could have been hurt then and is covering up the injury. Holland is known to be a funny, goofy guy, but I personally don’t think he put his baseball career at risk over a friendly hockey game. Although, slipping and falling on the ice can happen to anyone at any time.
According to Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News, Holland suffered the injury on Tuesday January 7th. On Friday January 10th, he underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee and the early word from general manager Jon Daniels is that Holland “won’t be ready for spring training or the beginning of the season”.
After an impressive 2013 season that was by far the most consistent of any pitcher in the league, Holland is going to have to work even harder to follow it up in his return. He was the only Ranger that did not miss a start. He finished with 213 innings, a 3.42 ERA, and 189 strikeouts. Heading into the 2014 season, Holland was more than likely going to be the number two guy in the rotation behind Yu Darvish.
Speculation of trying to sign Japanese free agent Masahiro Tanaka immediately began after the injury, but GM Jon Daniels shot down the hope insisting the team will look inside the organization for help.
The fifth spot in the rotation should be Tepesch’s to lose. Yu Darvish is the ace, followed by lefty’s Martin Perez and Matt Harrison. Injury prone Alexi Ogando looks to be the fourth starter.
About the Author
Written by Hayden Ballard
I am an avid sports fan. I was once DFW baseball Player of the Year and played one year of college baseball at HPU. I am currently in college majoring in kinesiology with dreams of becoming a high school or hopefully a college baseball coach.