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Texas Rangers Non-roster invitees: Pitchers

The Texas Rangers have 17 non-roster invitees at spring training this year. We take a look at two of the seven pitchers who hope to break camp with a spot in the rotation.

The Texas Rangers have 17 non-roster invitees among the 57 players heading to camp, each hoping to break camp with the club or at the very least, make a lasting impression with Jeff Banister. The 17 NRIs are comprised of 7 pitchers, four catchers, three infielders and three outfielders. Over the next few days, we will take a look at each of the players hoping to wear a Rangers uniform by season’s end.

Today, we begin with two pitchers, one of whom Texas fans are already familiar with and the other pitchers you probably recognize as well.

Nick Tepesch

AGE: 27

POSITION: RHP (SP)

SCHOOL: University of Missouri

DRAFT: 2010, Texas Rangers, 14th round

2015: Missed entire season

CAREER:

W-L ERA SO WHIP
9-17 4.56 132 1.365

Nick Tepesch is joining the Rangers as an NRI for the second time in his major league career. In 2013, he broke camp with the club as the team’s fifth starter and made his Major League debut on April 9 against Tampa Bay. Unfortunately, he missed the last two months of the season due to right elbow inflammation.

In 2014, Tepesch began the season at Triple-A Round Rock, however, Texas called him up in May. The Missouri native finished the season with a record of 5-11 and a 4.36 ERA. The Rangers non-tendered Tepesch after he missed all of the 2015 season due to nerve pain in his elbow, and he underwent surgery in August to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Entering Spring Training, Nick Tepesch might be the “safe bet” to beat the odds this spring just as he did in 2013.

A.J. Griffin

AGE: 28

POSITION: RHP (SP)

SCHOOL: University of San Diego

DRAFT: 2010, Oakland Athletics, 13th round

2015: Missed entire season

CAREER:

W-L ERA SO WHIP
21-11 3.60 235 1.126

A.J. Griffin made his ML debut with the A’s in June 2012. His record of 7-1 and ERA of 3.06 helped Oakland make the postseason where he pitched in the ALDS against the Tigers. Griffin had a decent season in 2013 earning a 14-10 record with an ERA of 3.83 but, he owns the season’s ML-record for allowing the most home runs with 36.

Griffin missed the entire 2014 season after he underwent Tommy John Surgery in April. He attempted to return in 2015, however, still feeling the effects of surgery, Griffin did not see any big league action. Oakland released him in November to make room for Aaron Hill.

If A.J. Griffin can prove he is healthy and ready to pitch, and maybe even willing to pitch out of the bullpen, I think he has a chance to make the team. He may even be able to surpass Tepesch for a rotation spot.


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