The Texas Rangers' starting rotation is a pretty decent-sized question mark lingering around the team as they open regular-season play in 11 days against the Houston Astros in front of a national television audience.
The No. 5 starter spot is up for grabs — at least until Colby Lewis completes his rehab after elbow surgery. Martin Perez appeared to have that spot locked down until he fractured a bone in his pitching arm. Now it seems to be Robbie Ross' job to lose.
Alexi Ogando has a rotation spot secured as the No. 4 starter, but the 29-year-old converted reliever/former starter is struggling this spring, and those struggles continued Tuesday night when he struggled through five innings in a loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Ogando allowed four runs (three earned) and two home runs in the first two innings before settling in over the next three innings. In his five spring outings (three starts), Ogando has allowed 14 hits in 15 1/3 innings, giving up seven earned runs with 11 walks and 13 strikeouts.
To be fair, Ogando has been working on a third pitch (a changeup) to complement his fastball and slider and give him another piece of weaponry to be an effective starter and go through lineups multiple times.
"Right now I am focusing more on attacking the zone," Ogando told ESPN Dallas. "Everyday I see improvement on and off the field. I am practicing every pitch and feel I am improving location-wise everyday."