The biggest drama surrounding the Rangers on the field as camp winds down -- selecting the No. 5 starter -- has taken a new twist with Michael Kirkman scheduled to start and throw five innings Wednesday against the Angels while Nick Tepesch will pitch seven in a minor-league game.
General manager Jon Daniels said last week that Kirkman was under consideration to start after solidifying a place in the bullpen, and Kirkman worked four innings Friday in a minor-league game.
Kirkman has had a terrific spring. He was a starter in the minor leagues and emerged as the club's minor-league pitcher of the year with a breakthrough 2010 season (13-3 at Triple A). Despite 105 minor-league starts, he has never started a major-league game.
Tepesch had been considered the front-runner to be the final piece of the rotation, albeit on a temporary basis until Colby Lewis or Martin Perez are healthy again. The Rangers won't need their No. 5 starter until April 9 and then might need him only seven times before Lewis or Perez is able.
Tepesch allowed eight runs in his last start, Friday against Colorado. He has never pitched above Double A.
The Rangers scouted Dodgers lefty Chris Capuano on Monday and are expected to scout Aaron Harang's next outing. There is no interest in Chris Young, the former Rangers pitcher who opted out of his minor-league deal with Washington on Monday.
Kyle Lohse is no longer an option after agreeing to terms Monday with Milwaukee.
General manager Jon Daniels, though, said Tuesday morning that he expects the Rangers' No. 5 starter to come from within the organization.
-- Jeff Wilson