ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 24: Alexi Ogando #41 of the Texas Rangers pitches in the seventh inning during Game Five of the MLB World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
While Derek Holland has been put under the microscope this spring and labeled as the "X-factor" of the Texas Rangers' pitching staff for the 2013 season, Alexi Ogando is far from a slam dunk to have a successful season.
We all saw what happened to Ogando in 2011, when he broke camp as a member of the starting rotation before tripling his previous workload high and hitting a wall in August after making the all-star team with a phenomenal first half. He was tired, and opposing hitters began to figure out his two-pitch arsenal, which was more suited for the bullpen.
Now, he's preparing to start again in 2013 as the projected No. 4 starter and is working on mastering a third pitch — a changeup — which is almost a necessity for a starting pitcher. So far, the results this spring have not been very promising.
On Wednesday, Ogando got through two innings in a start against the Chicago White Sox, allowing two unearned runs, but he struggled with his command, allowing two walks and three hits.
The good thing is, it's still spring training and the Rangers have a month before they open the season in Houston on March 31. Ogando would likely make his debut in the home-opening weekend against the Los Angeles Angels.
He'll be stretched out to three innings of work in his next spring start, and Rangers manager Ron Washington is looking for more from Ogando.
"I want to see some execution, but we know what Ogando has to offer," Washington told ESPN Dallas. "Right now he is not where he should be, and the only way he is going to get there is to go out and compete."