Greg Maddux likes Nick Tepesch's change

February, 22, 2014
Feb 22
4:00
PM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Greg Maddux watched from behind a net as Nick Tepesch threw a live bullpen session Friday. What he saw was Tepesch continuing to work on his changeup, a key pitch for him as he attempts to win a spot in the starting rotation.

"He threw a handful of them and got some swings-and-misses," Maddux said. "It was starting in the strike zone, but wasn't staying there. That's what he want. He's getting there."

Tepesch knows it's a work in progress and that he must continue to throw the pitch often in spring training to gain the confidence to use it in games.

"It's not quite where it needs to be yet," Tepesch said. "I'm getting more comfortable with it the more I throw it. I probably threw it six times in that session. I'm not trying to have a ton of movement to it, because I think if it does it's going to be easier to pick up. I want to have enough weapon to attack hitters with and a change-of-pace pitch from my slider or curve."

Tepesch said he wants to throw it to hitters on either side. The 25-year-old right-hander is pleased with how he's performed so far in camp and is focused on continuing to build his arm strength and get his command more consistent.

Other notes:

* RHP Yu Darvish told Japanese media that he wasn't as thrilled with his fastball command on Saturday as he was on Thursday. But catcher J.P. Arencibia was pleased with Darvish's changeup. Darvish is scheduled to start the first Cactus League game for the Rangers next week.

* Elvis Andrus' team padded its lead in the situational hitting contest. Andrus thinks they are about 17 or 18 points up, which is a large margin with one game left. The loser must buy lunch for the entire team and staff at the complex.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.323 15 56 54
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 15
RBIA. Beltre 56
RA. Beltre 54
OPSA. Beltre .887
WY. Darvish 10
ERAY. Darvish 2.90
SOY. Darvish 167