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Ogando Heading Back to Bullpen

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The Texas Rangers are reportedly making a move that it seems should have been made weeks ago.

Numerous media reports suggest the Rangers will start Alexi Ogando as scheduled in Thursday's series finale against the Cleveland Indians, then move him back into the bullpen for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs should the Rangers play in October.

It would presumably be in the seventh-inning role, ahead of Mike Adams in the eighth and closer Neftali Feliz in the ninth. It's assumed that Scott Feldman would take Ogando's spot in the rotation for the final two weeks of the regular season.

In his first 12 starts of the season after making a surprise move from the club's set-up role to the starting rotation in spring training, Ogando was unbeaten, went 7-0 and had his shortest outing at six innings.

He made the All-Star Game as a reserve hand picked by Rangers/AL manager Ron Washington, but his numbers made him plenty worthy of it.

Even after he hit a wall before the all-star break and had five losses going into August, his ERA was still nestled under 3.00.

Now, things are getting out of hand. Sure, Ogando's ERA is still a respectable 3.71, but things haven't been going well as he's up to 160 innings pitched this year, or four times his previous career high.

There might still be hope for Ogando as a starting pitcher, but not this season. He's 0-3 in his previous five starts, four of which were five innings or less. So yeah, he's a lost cause as a starter this year, and his chances of starting in the postseason are now zero.

But, in most of his starts, even the bad ones, Ogando has been good in the first inning. So it's worth a shot to see if he can solve the Rangers seventh inning problem that's been persisting all season with guys like Mark Lowe and Yoshi Tateyama back to struggling and Koji Uehara being a disappointment so far since being brought over at the trade deadline from Baltimore.

A bullpen of Ogando in the seventh, Adams in the eighth and Feliz in the ninth might just be the best bullpen in the American League playoffs, if the Rangers can outlast the Angels over the next two weeks.

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