There's no question Alexi Ogando has a bright future with the Texas Rangers.
The 27-year-old, who has already far exceeded his career high for innings pitched with 91 and counting, started the season 7-0 after entering the starting rotation at the last minute due to Tommy Hunter's groin injury at the end of spring training. He was unhittable.
Now, he's going on three straight starts of being highly ineffective, combining to pitch 9 2/3 innings over the three games and allowing 10 earned runs for three straight losses. Yuck.
Of course, Ogando was a lock in the eighth inning last season pitching in front of Neftali Feliz, a big reason Feliz was able to rack up 40 saves and earn AL Rookie of the Year honors.
Of course, we've been saying all year that Ogando should probably head back to the bullpen this year and if he wants to prepare to be a starter in 2012, that's great. God knows the Rangers bullpen could use the help.
So when Ogando takes the hill at Rangers Ballpark tonight against the lowly Florida Marlins, he'll either curb the doubts and fears that he's hit a wall and will be ineffective as a starter, or he'll continue his slide and likely force the Rangers hand to shut him down until after the all-star break, give him a rest and then hopefully come back strong after the break as the Rangers' set-up man.