With news that Derek Holland is going on the disabled list and Tanner Scheppers has been recalled came the news that Alexi Ogando will start on Sunday. You will remember that Scott Feldman is still scheduled to start on Saturday.
Not exactly how you want to go into a 2010 World Series rematch. I can understand the Rangers not wanting to call up a starting pitcher to replace Neftali Feliz when he went on the DL with Feldman already on the roster. However, with Feldman unable to give the team a chance to win, I figured a change would come. Then, Holland went on the DL and they chose to recall another reliever. That means that on back-to-back days you start a pitcher who hasn’t been stretched out for starting and you take out two of the relievers you had who can pitch multiple innings.
Ogando has not pitched more than two innings or more than 39 pitches this season. Sure, he started last year, but he probably won’t be able to throw more than 60 on Sunday.
The Rangers already went through a spell of a non-rested bullpen a few weeks ago, and it probably did cost them a game or two. This is staring a potential problem in the face and saying ‘To Heck With It.’ That’s not a very good way to run a baseball team.
It’s possible we will see more changes between now and this weekend, but you would think they would have been announced sooner rather than later. Scheppers apparently was told of the call up yesterday so there is a chance that there are more moves in the works that we just are not aware of. (An aside: Scheppers is 1-2 with a 3.72 ERA and nine saves for AAA Round Rock)
It turns out, depending on the severity of Holland’s injury, that the signing of Roy Oswalt was pretty good timing. It has been said that Holland’s fatigue may be linked to the virus but that may be hopeful at this point. At the very least, this means two more starts for Feldman and Ogando with Robbie Ross staying in the bullpen where he can scare opposing managers with left-handed bats on the bench, especially in National League parks.
The Rangers strength is a number of pitchers who can start games, however, there have to be questions about how they are managing their pitching staff while dealing with injuries. I don’t necessarily like going with back-to-back arms that are not stretched out, but I guess we’ll just have to sit and wait to see what happens.
If the offense comes back to life, it may not matter as much.