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Washington, Daniels Unconcerned With Bullpen

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Washington, Daniels Unconcerned With Bullpen

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Jon Daniels

Alexi Ogando could be in the starting rotation with Tanner Scheppers. Both, or one, could also end up in the bullpen, where both have excelled with a good sample size at the big-league level. The Rangers' bullpen is looking to replace Joe Nathan, as close to a lock in the ninth inning as there was over the last two years, and are doing it with one of two guys who are both on their way back from Tommy John surgery.

In other words, there's still a lot to be determined for the bullpen, a unit that was the strength of the Rangers' team a year ago, and at least a strength in the 2010 and 2011 World Series seasons.

Jon Daniels, the Rangers' GM who's put together those strong bullpens of the past four seasons with several different pieces, said he isn't concerned with putting together a winning bullpen.

“It’s not easy to construct one, and I don’t want to sound like I think it is,” Daniels told The Dallas Morning News. “But I don’t think it’s necessarily how you stack up on April 1. It’s how you finish. What we’ve learned is that it is dangerous to over-evaluate spring training. Bullpens tend to evolve. It doesn’t always happen by opening day.”

Remember. Robbie Ross surprisingly made the roster in 2012 and became one of the best middle relievers in the game. Tanner Scheppers wasn't seen as a key piece at this time last year and ended up being one of the league's premier setup men. Neal Cotts started the season in the minors and made a push for AL Comeback Player of the Year honors. There really are a ton of relievers in baseball that can make up a quality bullpen, and Rangers manager Ron Washington is confident Daniels can find the right pieces.

“Nobody wants question marks,” Washington said, “But I don’t think we have question marks. We have options. Once we determine our starting rotation, other things will fall into place. When we get out of here, we’ll have it put together.”

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