Alexi Ogando has had plenty of great moments in his career for the Texas Rangers, dating back to his late-season call-up in 2010 and dominant run down the stretch and into the postseason as an electric set-up man for Neftali Feliz.
In 2011 when he became a starter, he got off to a fantastic start and actually was selected to the AL all-star team before falling off toward the end of the season and once again returning to a dominant role in the bullpen. In 2012, he was equally as valuable as a reliever, and now he's back in the rotation.
The game of flip-flop has proven to be too much for Ogando, as going back and forth would mess with a lot of pitchers, Ogando included.
Ogando was on the verge of being moved back to the bullpen, most likely, until it was announced Tuesday that Colby Lewis was shutting down his near-complete rehab assignement to have hip surgery that will put him out for the season.
This is a bummer for the Rangers, who now have to continue to lean on Ogando every fifth day when he hasn't really been cut out to be an effective starting pitcher this season, consistently failing to get out of the sixth inning and taxing a bullpen that has had a workload issue for much of the season.
In his last seven starts, Ogando has only completed six innings twice. His numbers haven't been terrible, but it's just too much pressure on the bullpen when he fails to get out of the sixth — sometimes even the fifth inning.
In his last start, he lasted just four innings against Oakland — a game the Rangers fortunately won 8-3 — while giving up three runs with five walks. The way that game was going, he was lucky to get out of the second inning.
Ogando needs to bounce back on Wednesday against the plummeting Angels if the Rangers want to win their ninth game in 10 tries and have a chance to move back into a tie for first place in the AL West, pending the outcome of the A's game in Cincinnati.
The pressure to keep his spot isn't boiling anymore, but it's simmering with a Matt Harrison return on the horizon, and honestly, it would benefit both he and the Rangers if he was moved back to the bullpen.