Baseball season is only a few months away and players are continuing their off-season workouts waiting to report to spring training. One of those players is Nick Tepesch, a pitcher who made his major league debut with the Texas Rangers this past season, who has been working on developing one of his pitches.
“This off-season I’ve been working on my changeup,” Tepesch said. “I think that’s something that has been inconsistent. I think developing it and getting comfortable with it will help me a lot in the future.”
Tepesch is looking ahead to the 2014 season with the chance to make it his second year in the Majors. He was drafted by the Rangers in 2010 and spent just two years in the minors before being invited to big league camp in 2013.
“It was definitely exciting. I just went into it like it was any other spring training just trying to win a job,” Tepesch said. “I just pitched one game at a time and focused on that and it seemed to work out.”
Tepesch beat out fellow pitchers Martin Perez and Derek Lowe to win the fifth start spot in the Texas Rangers rotation. He made his MLB debut on April 9, 2013 pitching against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“It was special having my family there and it went as good as it could have gone,” Tepesch said. “I had a rough second inning but overall it was a good outing and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
In his rookie season, Tepesch put up solid numbers until elbow inflammation slowed his progress and eventually led to the disabled list. However, Tepesch said he looked at it as a learning opportunity as he worked his way back to the rotation.
“I had my ups and downs but I focused on trying to learn from every experience. It’s never fun being on the DL and you never want it to happen but it happened,” Tepesch said. “You just have to deal with it and learn from it. Going back to the minors for rehab was an easy adjustment and I just worried about getting my work done and getting healthy again.”
Tepesch rejoined the Rangers on September 2nd and finished the season in the Majors. The Rangers came close to playoffs but ultimately missed out on a Wild Card berth ending its season early for the first time since 2009.
“It was disappointing to end the season the way that we did,” Tepesch said. “But it fuels the fire for next year and knowing what we have to do in the off-season to prepare and get there this season.”
As the season gets closer, Tepesch said he wants to continue developing and become a better pitcher.
“I’ve had my rookie year now and am going into my second year. The hitters are better than what I’ve seen before. They are the best hitters out there,” Tepesch said. “But it’s the same game. It’s having the confidence that I’m just as good as you are and I’m here for a reason and just rolling with that confidence.”
Pitchers and catchers report to Texas Rangers’ spring training on February 16th.