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Rangers name Tanner Scheppers opening day starter

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Tanner Scheppers will make his first career start on opening day.
Tanner Scheppers will make his first career start on opening day. (USATSI)

MORE: Spring Training | Scoreboard | Team previews

With Yu Darvish sidelined by a neck injury, right-hander Tanner Scheppers will start on opening day for the Rangers, the team announced. Martin Perez, Robbie Ross, Joe Saunders and Nick Martinez will round out the rotation.

Scheppers, 27, was the team's primary setup man last season. He won a rotation spot with a strong spring -- 3.07 ERA and 14/4 K/BB in 14 2/3 -- and opening day will be his first career start. How rare is that? This rare:

In 76 2/3 relief innings last season, Scheppers had a 1.88 ERA (220 ERA+) with 6.9 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. He will be the team's sixth different opening day starter in the last six years, joining Matt Harrison (2013), Colby Lewis (2012), C.J. Wilson (2011), Scott Feldman (2010) and Kevin Millwood (2009).

The Rangers start their season on Monday against the Phillies.

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