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Extra Bases: Picture is clear on rotation

8/14/2013

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The waiting game is over for the Rangers.

Colby Lewis is having hip surgery next week in New York City and is done for the season. Matt Harrison still needs to get his back stronger before he can pitch again, and he won't pitch again this season.

Even though the Rangers were cautiously optimistic about Lewis and Harrison returning this season, the team never pinned its hopes on them. That's why general manager Jon Daniels reacted quickly on the trade market, acquiring the best starting pitcher out there, Matt Garza, nine days before the trade deadline.

When it comes to pitchers returning from injuries, there are no guarantees. It's a tough business, especially for hurlers.

"We didn’t know these two guys would have setbacks at the time [of the Garza trade]," Daniels said. "Until you know someone is back, there’s always some risk involved. We love our pitching staff as it is; it’s just fingers crossed that we don’t have another injury."

It's also fingers crossed that Alexi Ogando makes progress in the final 42 games of the season. His command was better in Texas' 5-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday, but he allowed three home runs -- one each to Scooter Gennett and Khris Davis, who had a combined five long balls coming into the game.

Whatever happens with Ogando, expect the Rangers to continue to look at pitchers put on waivers to see if another addition to the staff is necessary.

"We’ll look," Daniels said before Tuesday's game. "If there is something, it’ll be more than likely in the protection category. We may look for some depth. I don’t really have any expectations that we’ll get a starting pitcher that will crack our starting five. You can always improve your depth, and that’s what we’re looking at."

WHAT'S UP NOW: Rapid reaction from Tuesday night's 5-1 loss to Milwaukee. Nelson Cruz is headed to the Dominican Republic to work out. Plus, a postgame blog on Ogando's Tuesday night performance.

ON DECK: The Rangers finish off a two-game series against Milwaukee with right-hander Matt Garza (1-1, 2.82 ERA) facing Brewers right-hander Tyler Thornburg (1-0, 1.72) at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday night on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What did you think of Alexi Ogando's start on Tuesday night? Did you see improvement?