The Texas Rangers have optioned Nick Tepesch, who has been battling for a spot in the team's rotation, to AAA Round Rock today.
Tepesch was one of eleven players sent to the minor league camp. The whole list is set forth in the link above, but the most notable player besides Tepesch is veteran righthander Jose Contreras. Contreras has, per Evan Grant, been told he's not going to make the team, and is
There's a couple of ways to look at Tepesch being sent down at this point. On the one hand, it could be an indication that, whoever the five starters to start the season are, Tepesch isn't going to be one of them. That was my initial reaction when I saw this news.
On the other hand, a player can be recalled from an optional assignment after ten days. If the Rangers skip the fifth spot in the rotation because of their off day on April 3, they would potentially not need a fifth start until April 8. I believe that the date Tepesch is officially optioned would be considered to be before March 31 -- Opening Day -- which means the Rangers could potentially bring him back to start on April 8.
So that's potentially a possibility, if I'm right on when the 10 days start. Otherwise, its definitely going to be someone other than Tepesch as the fifth starter.