SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers will make a decision soon -- probably today -- on the No. 5 starter. Alexi Ogando would have to be the betting favorite right now, though nothing has been decided.
Rangers manager Ron Washington says he doesn't care if he ends up with four lefties in the rotation, but things sure would balance out nicely if he could split up three lefties with a couple of righties and give some opponents different looks.
Ogando would give the Rangers the abilty to do that. He has added a split-fingered fastball to his repertoire that includes a fastball and a slider. The splitter allows him to change speeds more dramatically.
It's interesting that as the spring developed, Ogando was considered the leading candidate to close if Neftali Feliz moved to the rotation. And Ogando said he wanted to close. Now, he could get a chance to start with Feliz staying in his role as closer.
Ogando arrived at spring training with better overall command of his secondary stuff than Feliz, leading some in the organization to believe he was better-equiped to start than Feliz. Ogando was stretched out until recently moving to the bullpen, so getting back on a starter's schedule wouldn't be difficult. He would need to get in some extended innings before the season starts, but could do that this week.
There are other candidates, including Michael Kirkman, who was in the rotation mix until he was assigned to Triple-A just hours before Tommy Hunter's strained right groin created this opening. Manager Ron Washington mentioned Eric Hurley and Dave Bush as possibilities as well.
Who would you start for Hunter? Is Ogando the right choice?