Manager’s choice: Did Nippert earn it?

October, 27, 2010
10/27/10
11:11
AM CT
SAN FRANCISCO -- In a matter of hours, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington will have to turn in his completed 25-man roster. Holding up the works is his decision about the bullpen.

The predominantly right-handed hitting San Francisco Giants likely demand another right-hander reliever. The Rangers carried four lefties into the ALCS, but Clay Rapada is the most probable southpaw to sit out the World Series. But, which right-handed arm gets the call?

Mark Lowe, Scott Feldman and Dustin Nippert are Washington's choices. Only Nippert has made a postseason roster so far, making one appearance in the ALDS. Lowe hasn't pitched much since returning from surgery for a herniated disc. Feldman, the Opening Day starter who dropped out of the rotation shortly after the All-Star break, just hasn't had his stuff, even in relief.

Then there's Nippert. The 6-foot-8, 225-pounder has pitched well since coming of a six-week stint on the disabled list after frighteningly taking an Austin Jackson line drive off his head in a July game in Detroit. He came off the DL on Sept. 2 and has pitched some of his best baseball of the season.

In 10 relief outings, Nippert has logged 14 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits. Nippert would provide Washington with a right-handed long reliever to go with lefty Derek Holland.

Among those three right-handed arms, has Nippert earned the right to pitch in the World Series?

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
10 2.90 167 133
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .323
HRA. Beltre 15
RBIA. Beltre 56
RA. Beltre 54
OPSA. Beltre .887
ERAY. Darvish 2.90
SOY. Darvish 167