When last the baseball world saw Kevin Jepsen in 2016, he was reeling off an ERA of 5.68 for Tampa Bay, and a 6.16 for Minnesota. Numbers like that will make any big league club ignore you, and they all did in 2017.
But before his disastrous 2016, Jepsen was the go-to set up guy for Mike Scioscia in the Angels bullpen. In 2014 and 2015, he was very good: a 2.63 ERA with a 1.046 WHIP, followed by a 2.33/1.134.
But like most middle relievers, it’s a crap shoot from year to year. Some years you are the unhittable Tanner Scheppers. Others you are the unwatchable Tanner Scheppers.
And Jepsen was that in 2016. He said it was from overuse. Which is an issue with any reliever Jeff Banister has at his disposal.
According to mlb.com’s T. R. Sullivan, Jepsen rediscovered his fastball in the minor leagues last year, and it’s back up to 2017.
Now he’s trying for a role in the Rangers bullpen.
What will he be? That iron clad stopper who is the first person out of the pen in critical situations? Or that unreliable arm who is called on to mop up a few innings in hopeless causes?
Who knows? He’s a middle reliever.