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)
In a span stretching more than two months, Alexi Ogando has made one appearance for the Texas Rangers, back on June 5 when he beat the Boston Red Sox in his return from the disabled list before hitting the DL for the second time this season.
Ogando, who's bounced back in forth from shutdown reliever to starter to shutdown reliever and back to the rotation this season, has had undeniable durability issues this season, and really throughout his career, including back in 2011 when he hit a wall toward the end of the season and was pushed back to the bullpen for the postseason.
Now, the Rangers need him to be an effective starter for them and he'll have his first shot on Tuesday night when he returns to the Rangers' rotation against Phil Hughes and the New York Yankees.
Ogando is 4-2 this season with a 2.93 ERA but has had trouble getting into the seventh inning this season. Then again, with the way the Rangers' bullpen is shaping up, six innings might be plenty and all the Rangers can hope for from Ogando, who's expected to be limited to around 100 pitches — a number he's hit just twice this season in his 10 starts.
If Ogando can come back, be effective and stay healthy in the rotation, the Rangers will have a salty lineup of pitchers with the acquisition Monday of Matt Garza, the top arm on the trade market. If not, they might have to rely on a rehabbing Colby Lewis, Nick Tepesch or someone like Ross Wolf. The former would be awfully advantageous for the Rangers.