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)
It's obvious where the one weak link in the Texas Rangers' starting pitching rotation lies, and Alexi Ogando didn't do a whole lot on Wednesday night to quell that concern.
But the bright spot here is that the Rangers know what Ogando can be if he's right because they've seen it before, such as in 2011 when he was elected to the All-Star Game as a starter.
Ogando pitched just five innings, about par for the course for the reliever-turned starter-turned reliever-turned starter, and struggled through the first inning. But after that, he was pretty solid, even if he did still make the bullpen work four innings.
He gave up two runs, struck out four and walked two after walking five in his previous outing, to pick up the win — his first since May 15.
The overall numbers are still good for Ogando: 5-3 record, 3.28 ERA, but the strikeout numbers are down from previous seasons with only 51 to go with 31 walks, which is what has killed him and his pitch efficiency. He still hasn't pitched past the sixth inning since late April and hasn't completed six innings since that May 15 outing.
The jury is still out in a big way, and Ogando is probably still better-suited to be in the bullpen, but his outing on Wednesday night, considering how it started, ended up being more good than bad.