At the end of Spring Training, it looked like Stephen Tarpley was on pace to begin the year in West Virginia. Then, before one of his final scheduled starts, he was bumped. He appeared on the schedule to start the following day, but was bumped once again. Tarpley was dealing with shoulder fatigue, which caused him to miss the start of the West Virginia season.
Today I heard that the left-hander is getting built back up, but is still “a little ways away” from arriving with West Virginia. Missing a week or two in Spring Training can set a pitcher back for some time. As an example, Tyler Eppler missed a few weeks with elbow soreness, and isn’t expected back until the beginning of May. The timeline could be different for Tarpley, but the point is that the building up process can take some time.
Tarpley is an interesting guy to watch, as he was one of the two left-handers acquired in the Travis Snider trade. We have him rated as the better prospect, putting him 12th overall in our updated rankings yesterday. The reason for the high ranking is his ability to throw for good velocity, with a low-90s fastball that can touch as high as 97. He has also seen a lot of success since moving to a three-quarters arm slot last year with the Orioles.
Shoulder soreness is a concern with any pitcher, but the positive sign here is that Tarpley is already back to throwing, which indicates that this was minor.