Nick Tepesch impresses in debut

February, 25, 2013
2/25/13
9:00
AM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Every spring, one or two players seem to come out of nowhere, play well and earn themselves a spot on the roster coming out of camp.

Left-handed relief pitcher Robbie Ross can attest to this after beating the odds and securing the final bullpen spot after a strong Cactus League performance in 2012. Perhaps this year's version of Ross could be Nick Tepesch.

The rookie right-hander made his first career appearance in an "A" game Sunday and impressed. Poise is key to success on the mound and the non-roster invitee showed plenty of it with a near perfect outing in two innings of work during the Rangers 7-5 loss to Kansas City.

"There is a surprise or two and we know what he [Tepesch] can do and if he continues to do it maybe he'll force us to make a decision," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "It's one time. I'd like to see him continue to pitch well and maybe he'll do like Robbie Ross and make us make a decision."

Tepesch faced the minimum six batters in the two innings, retiring five of the six. The lone batter to reach was Willy Taveras who placed a perfect bunt to spoil what would have been a flawless performance. That poise presented itself again when the next batter Alcides Escobar grounded into an inning-ending double play. The outing began on a high note when Tepesch struck out the side in the third inning.

"It was my first game and the adrenaline was pumping a little bit, but I felt comfortable out on the mound and I just tried to stick to my plan," Tepesch said. "In the bullpen the sinker was feeling pretty good, I was throwing it pretty well. I was just trying to attack hitters and get ahead."

The strong performance in his debut was made that much sweeter, as it came against his hometown team. Tepesch is a native of Blue Springs, Mo., which is just 15 minutes from Kauffman Stadium, the regular-season home of Sunday's opponent, the Kansas City Royals.

"I grew up a Royals fan, so it was kind of cool," he said.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
10 3.06 182 144
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .320
HRA. Beltre 17
RBIA. Beltre 64
RA. Beltre 63
OPSA. Beltre .875
ERAY. Darvish 3.06
SOY. Darvish 182