Saturday, April 30, 2011
Rangers' big April surprise: Alexi Ogando
By Richard Durrett
ESPN.com's Sweet Spot blog did a team-by-team look at the surprises in the first month of the season. For the Rangers, they chose Alexi Ogando's impressive move from the bullpen to the starting rotation. Here's what David Schoenfield wrote:
The reliever who was expected to join the Texas rotation this year was Neftali Feliz. Instead, Ron Washington decided to move Alexi Ogando there late in spring training. He's been brilliant, going 3-0 in five starts, with a 2.30 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. His strikeout rate (6.0 per 9) doesn't support the rest of the numbers, so expect some regression to set in.
Of course, Washington didn't make that call by himself. It was a group effort from the front office and a willingness by Ogando to make the switch. He's certainly produced and once Tommy Hunter (groin) is ready to return, they'll have some decisions to make. It was assumed Ogando's starting job would be temporary. But as well as he's pitching, do you move him back to the bullpen or leave him alone? (Even with the bullpen struggles, I leave Ogando in the rotation. He's too valuable there.) A lot can happen between now and when Hunter (who pitches today in extended spring) is ready to return. How well Colby Lewis pitches today is also something to keep an eye on when it comes to this situation.