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UPDATE: Tommy Hunter out at least six weeks with groin injury

Mar 25, 2011, 10:00 PM EDT

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UPDATE: If you were frustrated about Neftali Feliz staying in the bullpen, this probably won’t make you feel any better. According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, club officials have confirmed that Alexi Ogando is now a possibility for the starting rotation. Like Feliz, Ogando was stretched out for the starting rotation this spring.

9:31 PM: We have a timetable for Tommy Hunter‘s return from a groin injury. And it’s not good.

Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com earlier today that Hunter will be sidelined for at least six weeks after an MRI confirmed a Grade 2 (or moderate) strain of his right groin.

The Rangers hope that a blood-platelet injection scheduled for Monday will help advance his recovery.

“That’s a fair range,” assistant general manager Thad Levine said. “We’ll have to update that as he responds to treatment and the injection. But that’s kind of a ballpark figure.”

Hunter suffered the injury just hours after the team announced that Neftali Feliz would remain the closer for this season. Despite the injury, the Rangers remain committed to keeping the 22-year-old right-hander in the bullpen.

According to Sullivan, Michael Kirkman and non-roster invitee Dave Bush are in the mix to replace Hunter in the starting rotation. The Rangers would probably love to keep Bush around for depth purposes, but he has the option to declare himself a free agent on Sunday.

  1. apbaguy - Mar 26, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    In ancient days, warring armies would sometimes send a single champion forward in combat against the enemy champion, winner take all. For the AL West, I think they should just send their team doctors out, mano a mano. Let the injury fest begin!

  2. jsport1 - Mar 26, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    Rangers management needs to man the f up, acknowledge that they’ve been clowns about this situation, realize that they are going to be throwing away 1 out of every 5 starts with an overall underwhelming rotation, and USE A CERTAIN TOP 25 STARTING PITCHER. Are people really thinking he couldn’t easily be a Max Scherzer, Clay Bucholtz, etc..?

    • gt929 - Mar 26, 2011 at 7:26 PM

      Are you calling Feliz a ‘top 25′ starting pitcher? Hmm, he hasn’t started a major league game in his life, but ok, maybe he could be. What’s really interesting is that you’re calling Nolan Ryan a ‘clown,’ and telling him to ‘man the f up.’ Mr Ventura, come out of hiding and stop posting potshots at Nolan under these silly fake screen names.

      • jsport1 - Mar 27, 2011 at 12:07 AM

        Rangers management as a whole have been clowns in how they’ve been all over the place with the neftali situation. why say you’d prefer him starting if he has secondary pitches and then not do it? why say you’re going to stretch him in one last try out game and not do it? why are both alexi ogando and neftali feliz flip flopping like a couple of politicians? the answer is because the whole situation has been terribly mishandled. it’s clear nolan ryan is on the side that wanted to see neftali start, but others, particularly ron washington, wanted to keep the “sure thing” of neftali in the bullpen– likely because he knows he’s on a short string and potentially the hotseat next year after his past antics. Rangers management would be maning the F up if they acknowledged that they created a ton of confusion unnecessarily.

        but yea, that Robin Ventura charge the mound moment was pretty sweet.

      • gt929 - Mar 27, 2011 at 12:28 AM

        Why do you say it’s clear that Ryan wants Feliz starting? Look at the chain of command. I seriously doubt that Washington or Daniels overrules Ryan. I think the reason they’ve decided to leave Feliz in the pen is because the pen has been awful this spring. Hey I prefer Feliz in the rotation too, but I may not be privy to all of the factors involved. They may have confused you and some other fans, but I don’t believe it’s part of the job to let us all know everything they are thinking. Someone might just tell the competition, yanno?

        And, Washington on a short string or hotseat? His teams have improved each year, and he just took them to the dang WS. His job is about as safe as any manager’s in MLB right now.

      • cur68 - Mar 27, 2011 at 9:43 AM

        jsport11; gotta agree with gt929. This is Ryan’s doing. In fact I think its totally I think its the other way around. Washington wants the kid ti start but Ryan, who benefitted form a slow start and didn’t come on as a pitcher till later in his career, wants him 2 develop more. Keep an eye on Feliz; if he you catch him soaking his pitching paw in pickle brine you’ll know who’s calling the shots.

      • gt929 - Mar 27, 2011 at 3:06 PM

        Wash said early on that he wanted Feliz in the pen. Feliz said he was more comfortable in the pen. Then Maddux taught him a cutter that he really took to, and Feliz said hell yeah (or its equivalent in espanol), I wanna start now. But, when it came down to The Decision, I would imagine Mr Ryan had the final word.

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