SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers rookie right-hander Nick Tepesch made his Cactus League debut on Sunday against a familiar team. Tepesch pitched at the University of Missouri and grew up in Blue Springs, Mo., which is about 15 minutes from Kauffman Stadium.
Tepesch made a pretty good impression on Sunday. He pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out three in a row in the third inning. The only hit was a bunt single in the fourth and Tepesch then got the next hitter to ground into a double play.
"He threw the ball extremely well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He was down in the zone and had good depth on his breaking ball. He looks like a pitcher. What he did out there today was impressive."
Tepesch was a 14th round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. He went 11-6 with a 3.67 EA in 28 outings last season between Class A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Frisco. In 162 innings he averaged 9.2 hits, 2.4 walks and 7.1 strikeouts per nine innings. He also threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts in an intrasquad game last Wednesday. He and Cody Buckel are considered long-shot candidates for the Rangers' rotation.
McClellan cuts bullpen session short with pain
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Kyle McClellan, who is trying to recover from shoulder surgery and win a spot in the rotation, tried to throw in the bullpen on Sunday. The session did not go well as McClellan had to cut it short with more pain in the muscles behind his right shoulder.
McClellan, who had surgery July 10 and hasn't pitched in a game since May 17, has been bothered by the soreness for the past week. The soreness came up after he pitched two live batting practice sessions early in camp without any problems.
"I still felt it so we just shut it down early," McClellan said. "There's no sense banging on it if it's not getting any better. We'll keep getting treatment but there is nothing we can do. The body has to fix it. We're on my body's time schedule."
McClellan spent five seasons with the Cardinals, mainly as a reliever. But he did start 17 games for the Cardinals in 2011 and the Rangers are going to look at him in that role. However, this setback is not a good way to start the competition, even though the Rangers have played just three of 38 exhibition games.
"I can't sit here and say I'm excited about it," McClellan said. "It's not where I want it to be but we've got time. I'm confident we can get this thing turned around and get going."
McClellan is not the only pitcher falling behind. Wilmer Font remains confined to throwing on the side while dealing with inflammation in his right shoulder. Font pitched in three games for the Rangers at the end of last season and is a candidate for the bullpen.
Profar, Garcia to alternate in middle infield at camp
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Jurickson Profar and Leury Garcia were in the starting lineup for the first time in a Cactus League game on Sunday. Profar started at shortstop and Garcia was at second base. Both can play both positions and will continue to do so in Spring Training when Garcia is here.
"They both have the ability to play second or shortstop," manager Ron Washington said. "I'll keep flipping them back and forth."
They were together at Double-A Frisco last year. Profar played 97 games at shortstop and 25 at second base. Garcia played 39 games at shortstop and 57 at second. Garcia also played four games in center field and will get that opportunity at some point during the spring. But he only has a week left in camp before he has to report to the Dominican Republic team for the World Baseball Classic.
Mike Olt will also play the outfield soon. Olt, who played third base in the first two Cactus League games, has been working on his outfield defense with outfield coach Gary Pettis and has progressed to the point where he can be used in games.
• Lance Berkman and Adrian Beltre did some baserunning on Sunday. They are both dealing with strained right calf muscles and aren't expected to play in a Cactus League game until next weekend at the earliest.
• Tanner Scheppers remains day to day with a strained left hamstring.
• The Rangers have scheduled a B game for March 6 against the Cubs. That will be played in the morning before the two teams play their Cactus League game in the afternoon.
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.