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22 days until pitchers and catchers report

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22 days until pitchers and catchers report

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

22 days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training for the Texas Rangers.

#22 on the Rangers is Nick Martinez.  #23 on the Rangers is Nick Tepesch.  That seems appropriate, given how interchangeable Martinez and Tepesch seem to be.  They are both later round picks, righthanded pitchers with a conventional repertoire, both of whom seem to profile as potential back-end starters.  Martinez is the less experienced of the two, and probably has more upside, but The Two Nicks bounced around in the rotation, bullpen and minors in 2014 for the Rangers, and are both going into camp battling for the #5 starter role this year.

I mentioned yesterday that I think the Rangers' ideal scenario would be Nick Tepesch showing enough improvement with his changeup that he seizes the 5th starter spot.  That's in part because I suspect Martinez, who had very little experience above A-ball before coming to the majors last year, would likely benefit from a few months of starting regularly in AAA.  Martinez is someone who looks like he may have a nice future ahead of him, but hopefully, in 2015, he's up because he's forced the issue, not because injuries forced him up.