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Bullpen Woes Continue for Rangers

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Bullpen Woes Continue for Rangers

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Pitcher Darren O'Day #56 of the Texas Rangers on June 28, 2009 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.

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Darren O'Day was terrible in spring training. So was Mark Lowe.

Darren O'Day corrected himself in the early goings of this season. Mark Lowe did not.

Lowe is now in Round Rock trying to learn how to make his 97 mph heater effective, and O'Day is coming off another shaky outing on Wednesday night against the Angels, when he actually hit two batters and gave up a home run to Vernon Wells.

O'Day is known as a guy who is impossible for right-handed hitters to hit off, and Wells got to him.

Mason Tobin was placed on the 60-day DL with what appears to be a flare up of his elbow trouble that caused him to have Tommy John surgery. So that reclamation project appears to be dead, at least for the time being.

That leaves the Rangers' bullpen in pretty shaky, sad shape.

Other than the automatic Neftali Feliz closing games, it's awfully shaky. There's two 40-plus guys in Darren Oliver and Arthur Rhodes, who are both great in their careers, but let's face it, they're on the wrong side of 40.

The second-best bullpen guy from a year ago, Alexi Ogando, is in the starting rotation and has had a good amount of success so far. Then, there's Pedro Strop, who appears to really have something and could end up as the eighth-inning guy eventually. But he's not ready yet.

As promising and fun to watch as Ogando has been as a starter, it looks like Tommy Hunter is nearing a return from his groin strain. It wouldn't be a surprise if Hunter is returned to the rotation to move Ogando back to the eighth inning and shore up that bullpen a little bit more. But time will tell.

Unless this bullpen solidifies, it's going to be really tough for the Rangers to have another great season. The good thing is, there's plenty of time for that to happen.

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