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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers placed right-hander Alexi Ogando on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday for the third time this season, this time because of nerve inflammation in his right shoulder.
Ogando's injury leaves the Rangers with a hole in their rotation, one that will be filled Tuesday night by left-hander Travis Blackley, who has been recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to start against Houston a week after he was acquired from the Astros.
The issue facing the Rangers with 37 games left and with a half-game lead in the American League West: What is Ogando's role going forward?
He has been on the DL this season for right biceps tendinitis and shoulder inflammation, as well. All of this comes after making the transition to the rotation from reliever for the second time in his career and making only 15 starts this season. The Rangers still consider Ogando a starter.
"He's a starter unless we determine otherwise," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said.
The Rangers are hopeful Ogando will return when the 15 days are up -- the DL stint is retroactive to Aug. 14. He received an injection and also has taken oral medication and has been feeling better in the past few days.
Daniels was optimistic enough to say Ogando may not need a rehabilitation assignment. He could just throw an extended bullpen and potentially be ready to go.
The Rangers then will decide whether to start him again or put him in the bullpen. He is 5-4 with a 3.47 ERA.
Ogando made it through the first month of the season, then missed three weeks because of right biceps tendinitis. He made one start -- on June 5 in Boston -- before going back on the DL because of right shoulder inflammation.
The pitching brass and team doctors haven't decided what role is best for him, and it may not be decided until the offseason.
"I don't think anybody really knows," Daniels said. "It's a topic of conversation, whether or not he's physically better suited for the bullpen. But we don't know that."
Ogando said Tuesday that he wants to remain a starter, but he would do whatever the club asks.
"The first thing for me is to get healthy," Ogando said. "When I'm ready, I'll do whatever the team needs."