Extra Bases: Alexi Ogando must be better
Ogando will be under the microscope Wednesday night when he starts against the Los Angeles Angels with the suddenly rolling Rangers going for a four-game winning streak.
|Ian Fitzsimmons and Richard Durrett discuss why the Rangers play their best baseball under adversity.
Harrison would be on schedule to start for the Rangers on Monday, Aug. 19 against Houston for the start of a three-game series against the Astros. It would be the perfect spot to drop Harrison back in since it will just happen to be Ogando's turn in the rotation.
The Rangers will ride their starting rotation to the playoffs -- even more so now with Nelson Cruz suspended for the rest of the regular season. Trailing Oakland by one game in the American League, the rotation must work in unison and give the Rangers a chance to win every night.
Ogando isn't pitching poorly, but he's putting pressure on the bullpen. He's pitched fewer than five innings in his three starts since from returning from the disabled list because of shoulder inflammation. Ogando's command was unbearable Friday night in Oakland as he walked five. He needed 92 pitches to get through four innings.
Ogando is probably ticketed for the bullpen should the Rangers decide Harrison is ready after his next two rehab starts. Ogando would most certainly bolster the relief corps.
But there are no guarantees with Harrison coming back from two back surgeries. And whatever happens, these are two important starts coming up for Ogando with the division race tightening up.
“Of course he needs to pick it up, but he’s not hurt,” Rangers manager Ron Washington told reporters on Tuesday. “If he’s not hurt, I’m not concerned. … We know he can get outs. Rather than raise the red flag, we’ll just give him the ball until he’s told otherwise.”
Up now: Rapid reaction from Tuesday night's 8-3 victory over the Angels. Tim MacMahon writes about the running Rangers, and here's more on Harrison's progress.
On deck: Ogando (4-3, 3.26) faces Angels right-hander Tommy Hanson (4-2, 5.29 ERA) at 9:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM.
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