Rangers stretching out Alexi Ogando

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have not made any decisions on the fifth spot in the starting rotation, but Alexi Ogando will be stretched out as a starter again and is expected to pitch in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Tuesday.

Ogando, 27, appears to be the leading internal candidate, but the club isn't making any firm calls. They can also see if any external possibilities pop up in the next few days. The Rangers don't need a fifth starter until April 5 against Seattle, but if they pitch Ogando on Tuesday, he could be ready to go as the No. 4 starter, allowing them to split up the lefties. They could elect to go with lefties Matt Harrison and Derek Holland back-to-back if they need the extra day to decide.

Another option is to carry Dave Bush (Washington said today he's made the team), Ogando and Brett Tomko on the team and then decide closer to that date which one may start and how they want to operate. But it seems more likely they'll pick a fifth guy and go with it.

If Ogando ends up getting the job, the Rangers would have two bullpen spots available. The four remaining candidates: Mark Lowe, Tomko, Mason Tobin and Pedro Strop. Manager Ron Washington would not rule out Tomko despite Bush making the team.