Saturday, July 28, 2012
Buzz: Alexi Ogando feels good after extended outing
By David Collier
ARLINGTON, Texas -- After throwing 2 2/3 innings to close out Friday night's 9-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers pitcher Alexi Ogando said he feels good.
With the trade deadline approaching quickly, the Rangers could go in a number of different ways. They could still go after a marquee starting pitcher, but with Zack Greinke being traded to the Los Angeles Angels, Texas' options are limited. Another route the club could go is to stretch Ogando out and move him into the rotation and try to bring in some pieces to strengthen the bullpen.
"It looks like that is what they are trying to do with me," Ogando said of stretching him out. "I didn't do well, but I feel good. Today, I'm perfectly fine. I'm getting there."
Ogando threw 44 pitches Friday, giving up three runs on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts in the outing. He knows he has work to do, but Ogando believes he's at a point where he could pitch five or six innings.
Texas manager Ron Washington didn't rule out that Ogando could move into the rotation in the near future, but he didn't say it would happen either.
If it does, Ogando is prepared to get himself ready to be a starter.
"What it takes really is the intensity of my preparation," Ogando said. "That makes me have more ability to be a good starter. I haven't been going that because I haven't been throwing any innings. It takes a harder preparation."
Ogando has made one start this season, when had a perfect game going through three innings at San Francisco on June 10 before injuring his groin trying to beat out a bunt. Friday's appearance was his sixth since coming off the disabled list, but he's still searching to feel comfortable on a consistent basis.
"It takes time to come back and get into a groove," Ogando said. "That's what it is all about."
* Nelson Cruz has hit a home run in two consecutive games and in three of his last five. Cruz has seen his average heading downward lately, but the recent power surge at the plate could be a sign that he is starting to see the ball better.
* Leonys Martin is starting in left field and hitting in the No. 8 spot of the Rangers' lineup. He hasn't had an at-bat since July 14 and hasn't recorded a hit in his last 16 at-bats. Martin said it's hard to stay in a rhythm when he's not playing every day, but he's enjoying the experience of learning in the majors.
* Martin Perez will be available to come out of the Texas bullpen after having three days rest since his start against Boston on Tuesday.
* Mitch Moreland had a good day at the plate in his rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco on Friday. Moreland went 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and four runs scored. He will start again Saturday for the RoughRiders. Washington said they will see how he does before deciding if he returns to the Rangers on Sunday. He should be back by Monday for the series opener with the Angels.
* Mark Lowe will make his first rehab outing with Frisco on Saturday. He will throw an inning.
* Elvis Andrus' 13-game hit streak came to an end in Friday's contest, going 0-for-4, but he also had a walk in the game to keep his streak of 15 games in a row reaching safely via a hit, walk or hit by pitch.
* Neftali Feliz will make his fourth rehab start with Triple-A Round Rock, which is on the road at Memphis on Sunday. Feliz gave up a hit and walk with three strikeouts in three innings of work in his last start on July 24.