Red Fever
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Ogando Getting Ready to Start

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Just last week when the Texas Rangers announced their starting rotation and answered the spring-long question surrounding Surprise, Ariz., Neftali Feliz was back to the bullpen and everything was falling into place for the defending AL champions.

    Then, just a couple of hours later, disaster struck.

    One of those five starters (C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Tommy Hunter) was limping off the field in Arizona with a fairly severe groin strain.

    Tommy Hunter, who was likely to enter the season as the No. 4 or No. 5 starter after a better than average season a year ago, will now miss up to six weeks.

    Of course, the first knee-jerk reaction was to bring Feliz back to the rotation, but the more reasonable idea is to stick with your gut, leave him as closer and find someone else.

    Veteran Dave Bush was added to the big league roster as the team's long relief man and was probably a strong candidate to take that temporary rotation spot, but instead it appears the Rangers will revert back to the early-spring idea of making a starter out of Alexi Ogando.

    Ogando was unhittable last year in a bullpen role that, later in the season, turned into a set-up role for Feliz. He was lights out this spring, kind of flying under the radar as Feliz was the big story of the spring.

    Now, he's starting again Tuesday for the Rangers against NCAA power Coastal Carolina after being moved back to the bullpen last week before the Hunter injury.

    This obviously weakens an already questioned Rangers bullpen (with the exception of Feliz) and likely means set-up work for Darren Oliver or Arthur Rhodes. The good thing for the Rangers is, the No. 5 starter can be skipped enough early in the season to where he'll only have to make about three starts before Hunter is scheduled to return to action. If Ogando struggles, you easily move him back to the pen when Hunter returns. But what if he shines? Then we have a story.