Blog Entry

Ogando brilliant again before finger woes

Posted on: April 11, 2011 4:07 pm
Alexi Ogando

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Blisters, so far, have been a bigger challenge for the Rangers' Alexi Ogando than starting.

Ogando left Monday's game against the Tigers with fluid under a callous on his right index finger after seven innings (the team was careful not to call it a blister). He was limited to six innings with a blister in his debut as a starter last week against the Mariners. However, manager Ron Washington told reporters he expects Ogando to make his next start, Sunday at Yankee Stadium (via Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Twitter).

The right-hander's second start was even better than his sensational first. Like against the Mariners, Ogando allowed just two hits on Monday, but he went an inning longer and walked one fewer. He had four strikeouts in both games.

Darren Oliver and Neftali Feliz finished out the game, each allowing a hit, to give the Rangers a 2-0 victory and improve their record to 9-1, even though TIgers starter Justin Verlander allowed only two runs on six hits in nine innings.

Ogando was originally scheduled just to be a fill-in starter when Tommy Hutner missed the start of the season with a groin injury and Brandon Webb was unable to start the season in his comeback. Ogando was expected to be the team's setup man for Feliz -- or replace him as the closer if Feliz were moved to the rotation.

As a reliever last season, Ogando, 27, had a 1.30 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP and 39 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings pitch.

Before opening day, Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan said Ogando would be returning to the bullpen "unless he excels so well that it makes sense to leave him in that position."

Two starts and 13 innings with no runs and four hits might qualify.

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