Alexi Ogando, RHP.
In less than two months, the 2014 baseball season will begin. The Texas Rangers are poised to return to the postseason, but there are a good amount of questions surrounding the season.
Question: What will Alexi Ogando give the Rangers?
Alexi Ogando has been the unsolvable puzzle for the Texas Rangers' front office over the years. Actually, to put it another way, it's pretty clear how to solve the puzzle, it just hasn't been put into action yet.
It's pretty clear to us that Ogando is best-served as a lockdown relief pitcher, and not as a No. 4 or even No. 5 starter on a healthy pitching staff. This year, the hope was that the Rangers could send Ogando back to an already strong bullpen and make it one of the league's deepest and best along with Neftali Feliz, Tanner Scheppers, Joakim Soria and Jason Frasor. Instead, the circumstances will probably find Ogando back in the starting rotation after the injury to Derek Holland and the uncertainty surrounding Matt Harrison.
Say Harrison isn't ready to go when the season begins, and Lewis is, that means you're looking at a rotation of Yu Darvish, Martin Perez, Lewis, Ogando and then (insert name here) as the fifth starter. That's not a good situation for the Rangers.
Ogando has yet to prove he can be an efficient starting pitcher, working with basically a two-pitch arsenal that usually forces him from games before he can get out of the sixth, sometimes fifth, inning — putting extra work on the Rangers' bullpen.
Ideally, Ogando would be a seventh-inning guy or a setup man in the Rangers' bullpen, where he's had super years in 2010 and 2012. Unfortunately, with the way things are, it's more likely he'll be a starter.