Alexi Ogando is a guy that the Texas Rangers' front office wants to see succeed, same goes for Rangers fans. He's basically homegrown, having come up as an outfielder in Oakland's system, and has done a little bit of everything for the Rangers in his four seasons in the bigs — and done it all quite effectively.
But this year, Ogando is having a hard time establishing himself as a starting pitcher after a success 2011 season in the rotation that soured a bit late in the season when his innings workload got up there.
This season, Ogando's problem has been his efficiency and his continuous taxing of the Rangers' bullpen. Tuesday night's outing didn't go well either for Ogando, but it wasn't so much an efficiency issue.
Ogando tied his second-deepest outing of the year, going 6 1/3 innings for the Rangers and needed just 73 pitches to do so. That's great efficiency. The only problem? He gave up three home runs to the bottom third of the Brewers' lineup, including two long balls to No. 9 hitter Scooter Gennett.
He walked two and struck out just three, while allowing six hits (half of those leaving the yard).
Aside from his first start of the season, a win over the Houston Astros when he struck out 10 batters, Ogando's high for strikeouts is six back on June 5 against the Red Sox, the start that was sandwiched by two stints on the disabled list.
Ogando's strikeout numbers are down, and his walks are up. His fastball isn't as fast and he's throwing his changeup more often, which with a slower fastball can't be as effective.
With Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis not coming back this season, Ogando is stuck in the Rangers' rotation unless Jon Daniels goes out and brings in a veteran to be a No. 5 starter or if the Rangers possibly want to give Ross Wolf another shot and move Ogando back to the bullpen, but it seems safe to say that's where Ogando fits best this season because he's just not cutting it as a starter.