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)
Remember when Alexi Ogando was one of the top relief pitchers in baseball? Yeah, it's pretty easy to do. Back in 2010, Ogando burst on to the scene with his electric fastball and better than average slider to put up a 1.30 ERA after making a June debut that year and was a great set-up man for Neftali Feliz as the Rangers went to their first World Series in franchise history.
Then, in 2011, the Rangers made him a starter to help spell some depth issues out of spring training and Ogando was so good he stayed there until hitting a wall late in the season and moving back to the bullpen. But before that, he made the AL all-star team as he started the season 7-0 and finished 13-8 with a 3.51 ERA. In 2012, it was back to the bullpen for Ogando, and he was once again successful, putting up a 3.27 ERA with a career-high 9 strikeouts per nine innings number.
Of course, to keep the rollercoaster theme going, the Rangers put him back in the rotation for the 2013 season with the thinking that a starting pitcher is much more valuable than a reliever, which, in theory, is true. But Ogando is a different case, perhaps. He's struggled mightily to get out of the fifth inning in any of his starts this year, and on Sunday the Rangers put him back on the disabled list just one start removed from his last DL stint.
He's 4-2 this season with a 2.93 ERA, but the numbers might be a little deceiving. Yes, he has a winning record and a low ERA but he has been a headache for the Rangers' bullpen with his inefficient outings.
Could this most recent development push the Rangers' hand to make a move to acquire a starting pitcher before the July 31 trade deadline? Not sure about that, but it definitely makes the Rangers re-evaluate where they see Ogando in the long term.