Sunday, July 29, 2012
Buzz: Rangers stick with plan for rotation
By David Collier
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers are staying with their plan to stretch Alexi Ogando out to possibly put him in the starting rotation, despite the setback with Neftali Feliz on Sunday.
Feliz was scheduled to make his fourth rehab start with Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday but was scratched with discomfort in his elbow and looks to be at least a couple of more weeks from returning to the club.
"He was a guy we were depending on to come back," manager Ron Washington said. "He still may, but he's not here. We're going to move on."
Four spots in the Rangers rotation -- Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and Roy Oswalt -- are solid, barring any injuries.
That leaves room for one more. There's still plenty of time for the Rangers' front office to get a deal done for a starting pitcher before the trade deadline, but that option appears to be getting less likely. So where do they go from there?
Scott Feldman -- coming off four consecutive winning decisions -- will make his case to remain in the rotation for Colby Lewis, who had his season come to an end with a torn flexor tendon, in the series finale with the Chicago White Sox.
The Rangers still want to have options, and the plan to stretch out Ogando continues. Ogando threw 44 pitches in 2 2/3 innings of work in Friday night's loss to the White Sox. He will be available to pitch again Monday.
"If we get Ogando stretched out, we don't actually know what we're going to do," Washington said. "We're just trying to keep our options open. ... We're going to do what we feel we have to do. It's not a slight on anybody. We just have to do what we have to do. I'm not anointing anybody, so anything can happen."
Washington said they would like Ogando to get up to about 75 pitches before feeling he's ready to be inserted into the rotation, so they will have to get creative. It will be interesting to see if they try to piggyback Ogando with another starter or give him the opportunity for a four-inning save.
There's still a lot of moving pieces at the backend of the rotation, but one thing that is for certain is that the Rangers are doing everything they can to give themselves plenty of options.
* Mark Lowe had successful outing for Double-A Frisco Saturday night, throwing 18 pitches in one inning, giving up a solo home run and recording two strikeouts. He said it was the best he's felt since being placed on the disabled list. The home run came on a cutter that Lowe has developed recently. He will throw another inning in Frisco on Monday, and Washington said they would like him to do so Tuesday as well to see how he responds to throwing on back-to-back days. If all goes well, he will make his return to the Rangers.
* Mitch Moreland went 0-for-4 in Saturday's start with Frisco. He will make another start with the RoughRiders on Sunday before returning to the big league club for the start of the four-game set with the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.