03/25/11 9:00 PM ET
Ogando resurfaces in Rangers' rotation mix
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
2010 Spring Training - Major League Baseball
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Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
"He has thrown the ball better every time out," Washington said.He could also slide easily back to the bullpen once Hunter or Brandon Webb are ready. But that could be mid-May or later. The other candidates are left-hander Michael Kirkman and right-hander David Bush. Brett Tomko is being viewed a long reliever, although he is scheduled to pitch five innings in a Minor League game on Saturday. "He has been stretched out the whole time," Washington said, referring to Tomko. "We're going to keep him stretched out. He's a guy we're looking at for the long-man role, and if that changes it's because we decided as a group that it's best for the team." If Ogando goes to the rotation, that would open up another spot in the bullpen behind closer Neftali Feliz, right-hander Darren O'Day and left-handers Arthur Rhodes and Darren Oliver. Mark Lowe had the inside track on one right-handed setup spot but has slipped in camp and is now facing severe competition from Pedro Strop. The Rangers also like Mason Tobin, the Rule 5 Draft pick who is still in camp. That would leave the long-man role. Bush and Tomko are prime candidates for that role if Ogando goes to the rotation. The Rangers need someone who can fill that spot, and they are both stretched out to the point they could pitch four or five innings on the spot. "We're looking for a guy who can, for sure, give us some length," Washington said. But what they need most is a fifth starter and suddenly Ogando has come to the front again.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.