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Tanner Scheppers will start for the Rangers on opening day, his first MLB start ever

Mike Oz
Big League Stew
MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at Texas Rangers
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Tanner Scheppers has unexpectedly been tabbed as the opening day starter for the Rangers. (USA TODAY Sports)

With Yu Darvish officially out for as the Texas Rangers opening day starter, who would skipper Ron Washington turn to? Not Derek Holland, who is out until mid-season. Not 2013 opening day starter Matt Harrison, who has been delayed by back problems. Definitely not Tommy Hanson, who was released by the Rangers on Wednesday.

Times are tough in Arlington, y'all.

So the Rangers made a surprising choice — Tanner Scheppers, who was dynamite in their bullpen last season, will get the ball Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies. As if playing the Phillies on opening day weren't weird enough, consider this: This will be Scheppers first career MLB start. 

How many times has this happened, a guy making his first career start on opening day? Not many. Just once, actually.

There's little doubt that Scheppers is an effective pitcher. In 2013, he had a 1.88 ERA in 76.2 innings, with a WHIP of 1.07. But starting is a different animal than coming out of the bullpen. The last time he started was one game in Triple-A in 2011, with another seven in the minors in 2010.

 

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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