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)
Late last week, there were only three names entrenched as starting pitchers for the Texas Rangers for the 2013 season — Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and Derek Holland.
Now, barring a Holland trade, there are four.
The Rangers continued the back-and-forth trend with Ogando, telling the reliever-turned-starter-turned-reliever that he will be heading back to the starting rotation for the 2013 season and to prepare for that role.
This is a solid decision because the old adage says a good starter is worth more than a good reliever, and Ogando has proven he can be just that. He was thrust into the starting rotation prior to the 2011 season when Tommy Hunter was injured in spring training and was supposed to serve as a stop-gap until more help arrived. Instead, Ogando got off to a 7-0 start and went 9-3 up to the all-star break to earn a spot on the AL all-star team.
He then hit a wall down the stretch and was put back in the bullpen, where he dominated up until the World Series where the entire overworked bullpen hit a wall.
Now, he has the chance to prepare all offseason to be a starting pitcher instead of being told in March he is going to start, and he'll even pitch in winter ball.
Ogando's fastball is electric and he has a more than capable slider that can get guys out. He'll need a third pitch to sustain success as a starter and he's got a change-up that's seen its good days and bad days.
Sure, the Rangers will lose a great reliever and will have several holes to fill as free agents Koji Uehara and Mike Adams could very well not be back in 2013. But they have another starter locked in, and that's a good thing.