Tepesch continues long-shot pitch for rotation

Tepesch continues long-shot pitch for rotation

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rangers are going to Las Vegas and Nick Tepesch will be there to continue his long-odds bid of winning a spot in the starting rotation. Tepesch pitches Saturday while Robbie Ross takes the mound Sunday in a fifth-starter weekend in Las Vegas.

Tepesch, ranked as the Rangers' No. 18 prospect by MLB.com, pitched a scoreless inning in an intrasquad game and has followed that up with three solid outings in the Cactus League. He has pitched eight innings and allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out eight.

"He uses all his pitches," manager Ron Washington said. "Every pitch he has thrown has been effective because he hasn't given up a whole lot of hits."

Tepesch, a 14th-round pick out of the University of Missouri in 2010, was 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 12 starts at Class A Myrtle Beach and 6-3 with a 4.28 ERA in 16 outings for Double-A Frisco in 2012. Combined he averaged 9.2 hits, 2.4 walks and 7.1 strikeouts per nine innings on the season.

Over the past two seasons, he has thrown 300 1/3 innings in the Minor Leagues. Ross had 381 2/3 innings of Minor League experience before making the Rangers out of Spring Training last season.

"So far it has been a pretty good spring," Tepesch said. "I'm just trying to get better every time out. I'm just focused on each day and going out and doing my thing and work hard, and whatever happens, happens."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.