With Alexi Ogando's five-hit shutout on Monday night over the White Sox, the ace alarm was sounding wildly in Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Ogando gave up five hits in the complete game effort -- the first shutout by a Rangers pitcher in Arlington since 2008 (Vicente Padilla), and elaborating on what we discussed on Monday from Rangers czar Jamey Newberg: In the last 12 games, Rangers starters have averaged a tick over seven innings per start (86.2 frames), racked up a 1.77 ERA, and held opponents to a .211 batting average.
That is not a fluke. It includes series against some pretty good lineups in Kansas City and Philadelphia.
Ogando is now 5-0 and has gone at least six innings in all of his starts this year with a sub-2.00 ERA, giving him the third best ERA in the American League. Again, that's a sub-2.00 ERA, for a starter, in Arlington. Pretty incredible.
Is Ogando the new ace of the Rangers staff? Based on an early sampling, it'd be hard to argue against, but with a guy like C.J. Wilson atop the rotation, it might be tough to go that far yet. But just wait.
This emergence of Ogando as a starter means great things for the future of the Rangers' rotation.
Ogando is dirt cheap. Same goes for Neftali Feliz, who we assume will be in the rotation next season after the Rangers get a closer either by trade or off-season signing. The only free agent in the group is Wilson. Imagine of rotation next season of Ogando, Wilson, Feliz and Colby Lewis with Matt Harrison and Derek Holland, maybe Tommy Hunter vying for the 5th spot.
It's too early to say for sure, but it appears this pitching renaissance in Arlington will continue for quite some time.