The Ranger are claiming that Alexi Ogando is slated to be a starter for the 2014 season, but at the same time they are saying that they expect Robbie Ross and even Tanner Scheppers to have an opportunity to be a starter in 2014. The two things don’t seem to work together very well.
If you look at the seasons that Ogando has had for the Rangers as well as the fact that he had so many injuries last season, I think it makes more sense to have him back in the pen as the long man. Want me to back that up? okay.
In 2010 and again in 2012 (both years that he was a reliever) Ogando posted an ERA of 2.29 with 107.2 innings pitched, 105 strikeouts (8.6 strikeouts per nine innings), and 6.7 hits per nine innings. Tough to replace a guy like that in the pen, and he would make the pen very much stronger.
As a starter Ogando was on the DL three times last season and he also wore out really bad during the 2012 season. in his two seasons as a starter (2011 and 2013) he posted an ERA of 3.31 with 273.1 innings pitched, 198 strikeouts (6.45 strikeouts per nine innings), and 7.7 hits per nine innings. He looks better as a reliever. Also, the Rangers are in need of a long man, and I think Ognado is the answer.
Either Ross, Scheppers (whom I find unlikely to win a starter job) or someone from a trade that the Rangers could still make between now and the beginning of the 2014 season should be the fifth starter in my opinion. As I have mentioned before, I feel good about Darvish, Holland, Perez and now I am starting to feel good about Harrison. According to sources Harrison long-tossed from 150 feet and felt good. He says he is confident he will be healthy for the 2014 season. So I say the Rangers are smart enough to put Ogando back in the pen where he was a better and much healthier pitcher for the 2014 season and beyond. It is also not out of the question that Ogando could win the closers spot, although I still say Feliz should get that.