Tanner Scheppers has been activated from the disabled list and is back in the Texas bullpen in some capacity. The club plans to ease him into a regular role coming out of the 'pen.
'He's not our closer, and he's not our eighth guy [out of the bullpen],' manager Ron Washington said.
'I think they probably won't throw me right into the fire,' Scheppers said. 'But I'm happy with any role. I'm ready to come out of the gate.'
Scheppers will begin with low-leverage situations and work his way into what will presumably be a late-inning job down the road, a role in which he was very effective prior to 2014.
Having only appeared in four rehab outings and none of them consecutively, Scheppers hasn't pitched on back-to-back days since September of 2013 when he appeared in five straight games, throwing a total of 56 pitches over the five outings.
The plan isn't for Scheppers to be more than a one-inning man, and the Skipper said Scheppers will know where he stands on pitching back-to-back.
'I think we'll let Scheppers tell us when he's where he needs to be,' Washington said.
Scheppers had a 1.88 ERA in 76 games as a reliever in 2013, and was a finalist for the 'Final Vote' in the All-Star Game. He was 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA in four starts in 2014 before going on the disabled list in mid-April.
Scheppers said the thought during spring training after talking with team doctors was that he had tendinitis in his elbow. Instead of getting better, it only got worse, he said.