Saturday, March 24, 2012
Reaction: Alexi Ogando stays ready
By Richard Durrett
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Alexi Ogando reminded everyone of the Texas Rangers' starting pitching depth Friday.
Let's not forget that Ogando was an All-Star in 2011 as a starter. And while he's destined for the bullpen if everyone is healthy, he and Scott Feldman are important insurance options should someone get hurt.
With Neftali Feliz still nursing a stiff right shoulder, Ogando went out and pitched 4 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball in the Rangers' 4-1 win against the San Francisco Giants in front of a sellout crowd at Scottsdale Stadium. Ogando had three walks and three strikeouts.
"I was trying to work both sides of the plate," Ogando said through a translator (Julio Borbon).
Manager Ron Washington said Ogando's command was a little off at times, but was pleased the right-hander got his innings. Ogando said he'll continue to pitch and be ready for the season -- whatever role that may be.
"I'm ready for anything," Ogando said. "They have me starting in case anything comes up. I'm ready if they need me."
Speech time: Even in spring training, Washington isn't afraid to go to the mound and get a message across. Mark Hamburger came in with a 4-0 lead and allowed a run. He got a double play and then walked two straight batters. That got Washington out of his chair just outside the dugout and out to the mound.
"He just got himself out of trouble with a double play and he walked the next two guys -- what was he trying to do?" Washington said. "Just get outs. That's all."
Hamburger did just that, throwing two quick strikes to the final hitter he faced and getting a ground ball out.
Sliding toward Posey: Mitch Moreland had the distinction of being the first player to slide at home plate with Buster Posey catching. There was no collision as Moreland was safe in the fifth inning with the game's first run.
"There were two outs and I was doing everything I could to score," Moreland said. "He gave me the plate, so I slid on the outside line and got in."
Hamilton in center: Josh Hamilton had two hits and was pleased that his timing is starting to come around. He said he wants to play a few more games in center to get his legs under him. Washington said that's likely to happen in a few games before the club leaves Arizona. But the skipper also noted he still has to see more of Borbon, Craig Gentry and Leonys Martin.
5-4-5 double play: Yep, that's right. You don't see a 5-4-5 double play often, but with runners on the corners and one out, Nelson Cruz hit a hard ball to third that was bobbled by Ryan Theriot. He threw to second for the out and Hamilton was then straying too far off the third-base bag and threw behind him to get him for the third out. Odd.
Rope: It didn't result in a double play, but Cruz made an impressive throw to third base in the second inning. Brandon Belt tagged up on a fly ball to right and Cruz threw a bullet to third base. Adrian Beltre wasn't quite able to catch it and tag Belt, but Cruz made it a close play. It's another reminder of the kind of arm he possesses out there.
Caught: Catcher Yorvit Torrealba threw out Emmanuel Burriss with a solid throw to second base in the third. He then caught Brandon Crawford in the fifth. Torrealba has done a tremendous job of getting would-be basestealers this spring. He's had six runners attempt to steal on him and he's thrown out five.
Hit streak: Michael Young singled in the sixth to extend his spring training hitting streak to 11 games. He's 12-for-25 with four doubles, four walks, five runs scored and two RBIs in that span.