No task seems too great for Tepera

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY RUS­SELL DORSEY, STAFF RE­PORTER | @Russ_Dorsey1

The Cubs’ bullpen has started to set­tle in and find its way af­ter a rocky start to the sea­son. And one big rea­son for that has been righthande­r Ryan Tepera.

Tepera, 32, didn’t make the Open­ing Day ros­ter af­ter man­ager David Ross and the coach­ing staff de­cided to go with Dil­lon Maples and Rex Broth­ers in­stead. But since Broth­ers and Maples were op­tioned and Tepera was re­called, Tepera has be­come one of Ross’ most trusted arms.

He has taken on the role of the bullpen “fire­man,” throw­ing in a va­ri­ety of sit­u­a­tions — both lowand high-lever­age — from the fifth in­ning on. He has a 2.38 ERA in nine ap­pear­ances and has eight con­sec­u­tive score­less out­ings since Aug. 2.

“He’s pitched in some very high-lever­age sit­u­a­tions in his ca­reer,” pitch­ing coach Tommy Hot­tovy said. “You go back to what he did some of those years in Toronto, when he was kind of at the top of his game there.

“We’re not afraid to un­leash him in any sit­u­a­tion. I think what’s been more in­ter­est­ing, in talk­ing to him, is mak­ing sure he knows he’s ready to go in some of the big­gest mo­ments, no mat­ter where they are in the game.”

The cut­ter has been Tepera’s go-to pitch dur­ing his re­cent run of suc­cess; he has thrown it 41 per­cent of the time. Op­pos­ing teams have a pal­try .059 bat­ting

Tepera also has fanned 40.5 per­cent of the bat­ters he has faced this sea­son — 13th in MLB and 12th among qual­i­fied re­liev­ers.

“His ex­pe­ri­ence helps out a lot,” Ross said. “You see a poise out there about him. But re­ally, the twoseam/slider/split­ter mix, I re­ally like. He can cut it in on lefties if he needs to with the back foot.

“But he knows how to pitch.

He knows how to use this stuff. He knows how to slow down the mo­ment. He knows how to pitch to a scout­ing re­port with what his strengths are. All those things, I think, fac­tor into what he’s do­ing.”

Adam, Miller to South Bend

Left-han­der Jose Quin­tana and right-han­der Tyler Chat­wood were both ac­ti­vated from the 10day in­jured list be­fore Tues­day’s game against the Tigers. The Cubs op­tioned right-han­der Ja­son Adam and out­fielder Ian Miller to al­ter­nate site South Bend in a cor­re­spond­ing move.

Adam was 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA in three games. Miller played in just one game as a pinch-run­ner.


The Tigers’ Ja­Coby Jones slides around the tag of Cubs catcher Will­son Con­tr­eras to score the first run in a five-run sixth in­ning Tues­day night in Detroit.

Ryan Tepera

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