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)
Disclaimer: It should be noted that the Houston Astros might indeed have the worst lineup ever fielded by a Major League Baseball club.
After struggling through spring training, Alexi Ogando finally looked like his early-2011 self as a starting pitcher in the spring finale when he tossed six scoreless innings against the offense-rich Cincinnati Reds.
In his 2013 debut, moving back to the starting rotation after spending the end of 2011 and all of 2012 in the bullpen, Ogando hit a bit of a snag early but went on to pitch 6 1/3 innings of scoreless ball while striking out 10 Houston Astros with one walk and scattering four hits on 94 pitches.
Again, see the above disclaimer and take this with a grain of salt, but Ogando looked pretty spiffy in his 2013 debut as a starter.
“I just focused on throwing quality pitches, and I wanted to strike them out,” Ogando said after the game. “I focused on my pitches and got good results.”
Ogando used his fastball and his signature slider and introduced his changeup and a curveball that is still in the making, but it worked against the overmatched Astros lineup. He'll get his next start next week against the Tampa Bay Rays, which will be more of a challenge, but one Rangers fans will be excited to see from a new-look Ogando.