Alexi Ogando #41 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Houston Astros in the first inning at Minute Maid Park on April 3, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Throughout the season, we've wondered aloud if Alexi Ogando should be a starting pitcher for the Texas Rangers or come out of the bullpen after three stints on the disabled list.
After his most recent return from the DL, Ogando was put back in the bullpen and has pitched great, throwing six scoreless innings in four appearances since returning from the DL in Oakland earlier this month.
With the fifth rotation spot open, it was expected that Nick Tepesch or Travis Blackley would possibly get the spot start in Tuesday's game in Tampa after Ogando had done so well in the bullpen and after the Rangers were able to skip the fifth spot in the rotation last week.
But now, there are no more off-days and someone has to do it, and the Rangers have decided to give Ogando another shot. And for once, we 100 percent agree with the choice.
While Ogando should probably pitch out of the bullpen, maybe that's what the Rangers need to start the game — a shutdown reliever.
The Rangers have had so much trouble with giving up early runs, which has led to their insane streak of 63 innings without even having a lead in a game. So maybe if they get three scoreless innings out of Ogando, the Rangers' bats will be able to jump on streaky Tampa Bay starter Jeremy Hellickson and give themselves an early lead to work in what will effectively be a bullpen start.
"He's been throwing the ball well and I figure we can get three, maybe four out of him," Washington told reporters after Monday's game when he made the announcement. "I'll give him a chance to do it."