Tepesch had never pitched about Double-A before last spring, when he earned the spot as the Rangers' fifth starter. But he had an 11.25 ERA in three starts this spring, and in his last game Saturday allowed nine hits and seven runs in three innings against AL West rival Oakland.
That was among 11 moves made by Rangers, which came two weeks before their regular-season opener.
Jose Contreras, a 42-year-old right-hander in camp on a minor league deal, was offered reassignment to minor league camp. The team said Contreras is weighing his options, and might retire as an active player.
Contreras had a 10.50 ERA in three games this spring training. The Cuban pitcher, who had ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow in June 2012, spent last season with the Pittsburgh and Boston organizations. He made seven relief appearances for the Pirates last May. He has a 78-67 career record in the major leagues, with a 4.57 ERA over 299 games with the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, Colorado, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
The Rangers also optioned right-handers Cory Burns and Miles Mikolas, and infielder Andy Parrino, to Round Rock.
Tepesch was 4-6 with a 4.84 ERA in 19 games (17 starts) for the Rangers last season. He struck out 76 and walked 27 in 93 innings.
Among six players reassigned to minor league camp was right-hander Daniel Bard, who is still going through rehabilitation from surgery in January for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. When the Rangers signed Bard to a minor league contract in February, they knew he wouldn't be an option for the start of the season.
Also sent to the minor league camp were catchers Patrick Cantwell and Brett Nicholas, infielder Kensuke Tanaka, and outfielders Bryan Petersen and Brad Snyder.
With the moves, the Rangers have 39 players remaining in camp. That number doesn't include left-handers Derek Holland and Joseph Ortiz, who are on the 60-day disabled list.