Rangers notes: Alexi Ogando lands on DL for third time this season

Posted Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Alexi Ogando is headed to the disabled list for the third time with what the team is calling right shoulder inflammation.

He missed six weeks with a similar affliction earlier this season, but this time the inflammation is in a nerve and unrelated to the previous shoulder setback. Still, the latest issue raises questions about the best role for Ogando in the future.

General manager Jon Daniels understands why some have drawn conclusions that Ogando’s injury-riddled season is related to him returning to the rotation but said there is no evidence to support that theory.

For now, the Rangers intend to keep Ogando stretched out as a starter with plans to revisit the topic after the season. They don’t have much rotation depth at this point, and Daniels didn’t sound optimistic about finding help from outside the organization.

“Always looking around, but I don’t anticipate anything,” Daniels said of acquiring a starter. “There are a few guys who have cleared waivers, but I’m not optimistic that there’s going to be the right fit between somebody we have interest in that is truly available at a price we think is worth it.

“So we are fully expecting to go with this group. I don’t mean that in a negative way — we like our team.”

Left-hander Travis Blackley has been tapped as Ogando’s replacement for the time being, but the Rangers are hopeful that Ogando will only miss two starts.

Ogando complained of soreness in his right shoulder after his start on Aug. 13, and there was initial hope that he could avoid a DL stint. He has shown improvement after a cortisone injection and oral medication, but not enough to keep him on the active roster.

Ogando said his preference is to remain in the rotation, but he would be open to moving back to the bullpen if the team felt that was the best option for him.

“The important thing for me is to be healthy,” said Ogando, who is 5-4 with a 3.47 ERA over 15 starts this season. “When I’m ready, it’s going to be what the team needs.”

Been there, done that

A.J. Pierzynski is no stranger to seeing teams intentionally walk the batter in front of him. He spent the 2004 season mostly batting behind, or two batters behind, Barry Bonds, who drew a major league record 120 intentional walks that year.

Pierzynski expects teams will take a similar approach to Adrian Beltre down the stretch and is ready for the challenge. Beltre, who went into Tuesday’s game with a .400 batting average in August, drew two intentional walks in his first two plate appearances on Monday, the first Ranger to have that happen since Oscar Gamble in 1979.

Pierzynski struck out after Beltre’s first free pass but delivered a two-run single the second time it happened.

“I understand why teams are doing it,” said Pierzynski, who set a career high in RBIs (77) batting behind Bonds in 2004.

“Adrian is one of the best hitters in baseball, so in big situations it makes sense. As a professional and competitor, yeah, you want to make them pay, but it doesn’t always work out like that. You can’t try to do too much.”

Ron Washington doesn’t seem to mind the intentional walks to Beltre, either.

As he said, “All you’re doing is waking up a sleeping dog. Want to walk Beltre? Then you’re waking up Pierzynski.”

Briefly

• Jon Daniels is hopeful that reliever Neftali Feliz will be ready by Sept. 1 when rosters expand. Feliz, rehabbing from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery, threw a scoreless inning for Triple A Round Rock on Monday, sitting in the 90-93 mph range. “He’s getting a little better every time out,” Daniels said.

• Wednesday’s starter, Derek Holland, has had some tough luck this season. Despite a 3.18 ERA at Rangers Ballpark, he’s won just two of his 12 starts at home. He’s also been the starter in four of the seven games in which the bullpen has blown saves. “I don’t care,” said Holland, who got a no-decision in his last start despite throwing seven scoreless innings. “I’m not going to worry about it too much. The main thing is for me to go out there and do my job.”

• The Rangers recalled right-hander Matt West and put him on the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Tuesday’s starter, Travis Blackley. West is rehabbing from Tommy John elbow surgery.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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