After being in a position where many folks said he was pitching to determine his short-term (2011) future with the Rangers on Friday night against the Florida Marlins, all is good in the Alexi Ogando world, for now, at least.
Ogando had gotten off to his dynamite start with a 7-0 start with an ERA just over 2.00 in his first year as a starter after pitching about four months out of the bullpen as a MLB rookie last year.
Then he went on an awful stretch where he took three straight losses when he gave up 10 earned runs in 9 2/3 innings over the three games with just five strikeouts.
Prior to Friday, many were finally on board with my oft-repeated stance that Ogando should be moved back to the bullpen for the remainder of the year to shore up that glaring problem and pull back on his workload which has already seen him more than double his career-long workload just halfway into the season.
But Ogando went 6 2/3 with 8 strikeouts and gave up two earned runs for the win and seemed to re-establish himself as a Rangers starter.
But not so fast.
The Rangers will start Ogando Wednesday night against the Orioles and then shut him down for two weeks, factoring in the All-Star break and he'll return when the Rangers go out West to face the Los Angeles Angels.
This is a nice time for Ogando to get a breather and recharge his batteries, but it's still hard to fathom him throwing 200 innings this year when his previous high was just more than 40.
With Scott Feldman nearing a return and Tommy Hunter back in the Rangers bullpen but coming off a 13-win season last year, the Rangers have some flexibility in their pitching staff and a solid set-up man would be a lovely thing to have down the stretch this season.