Alexi Ogando to pitch from bullpen
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington provided a road map for his American League Division Series roster on Thursday, announcing that Alexi Ogando will pitch in the bullpen, that the club will go with seven relievers and that Matt Treanor will be on the bench as a third catcher.
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The decision to go with seven pitchers in the bullpen gives Washington a five-man bench. That gives him some more options. He can play Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba in the same lineup with one at designated hitter and know that he's got the insurance of Treanor if something happens to one of them.
Ogando was 13-9 with a 3.51 ERA in 31 games, 29 of them starts. He became a starter in the days leading up to the season after Tommy Hunter injured his groin. Ogando was a 2011 All-Star, putting up a 9-3 mark and a 2.92 ERA in 17 starts with 78 strikeouts and 23 walks in the first half, when opponents hit just .213 off him.
But in the second half, Ogando was well above his career-high in innings pitched and it showed. He was 4-5 with a 4.48 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 20 walks.
Ogando gives the club another power right-handed arm and a guy who can pitch multiple innings if needed.
The Rangers have until 9 a.m. Friday to make their roster official.
Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.