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Rangers change their minds, move Alexi Ogando into rotation

Mar 28, 2011, 4:26 PM EDT

alexi-ogando-rangers AP

Last week the Rangers announced that both Neftali Feliz and Alexi Ogando would be remaining in the bullpen despite trying out for the rotation this spring, but with Tommy Hunter likely to miss at least six weeks with a groin injury and Brandon Webb nowhere close to contributing they’ve decided to make Ogando a starter after all.

I’m still of the opinion that they should have just given Feliz a chance to show he’s a top-of-the-rotation guy and what’s interesting about their willingness to let Ogando but not Feliz start is that Ogando wasn’t even a starter in the minors.

Feliz was a starter through his first three-and-a-half pro seasons and ranked as a top prospect on the basis of his future as a starter, whereas Ogando has started a grand total of three professional games

As with all young pitchers it makes sense to see if they can capably fill a 200-inning role before locking them into a 70-inning role, but if the Rangers are willing to do that with Ogando why not just do it with Feliz? After all, Feliz has far more starting experience and subtracting Ogando from the bullpen is a significant blow as well after he posted a 1.30 ERA and 39/16 K/BB ratio in 42 innings as a rookie.

  1. dodger88 - Mar 28, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    You have to wonder if Feliz are first publically stating his apprehension about being a starter is at the root of the Rangers’ decision. While any sane person will agree that 200 innings of a good pitcher is better than 70 innings, they may view it as 70 innings from a confident pitcher is better than 200 innings from someone with doubts that he can succeed. Either way, Feliz should start. If Oakland hits better than league average with the great young pitching they have, the Rangers will regret this come season’s end.

  2. b7p19 - Mar 28, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Wow. If there isn’t some issue that we’re not aware of this seems like a very strange decision.

  3. trevorb06 - Mar 28, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    This is some of the dumbest crap I’ve heard about for a while now. Feliz must be requesting to stay in the pen because the Texas brass can’t be THIS bull-headed… can they?

  4. spudchukar - Mar 28, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    I have been of the position that easing Feliz into the rotation has some wisdom. But this move has me scratching my head. I know Ogando has not been that effective this Spring in the closer role; but one has to question the thought process that then he is qualified to become a starter. Maybe the Rangers are more willing to gamble with Ogando because they don’t think he has as much up side, thus minimizing their risk, but with Feliz’s starting history one would think that now is the time to make the move. One could argue I guess that when Hunter and Webb return both Ogando and Feliz will both be in the bullpen and they would rather shift Ogando around. Counting on either Webb or Hunter to be their answer at starter seems foolhardy.

  5. jdmcmill - Mar 29, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    YES!!!! I needed me some Neftali this morning. THANK YOU!!!

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