Alexi Ogando had been considered a possible injury replacement for the Rangers’ rotation, but the team feels he’s too valuable in the bullpen to change his role again.
Ogando is projected as the setup reliever in front of closer Joakim Soria and is expected to fill in at closer on days Soria isn’t available.
The Rangers are also going with lefty Pedro Figueroa in the bullpen. The 28-year-old has had stints in the big leagues with the A’s the past two seasons and has thrown consistently enough this spring to win a job.
Figueroa has a 3.86 ERA over six spring outings with six strikeouts and no walks and can be used for multiple innings.
“He’s had command issues in the past, but he’s thrown strikes here in camp,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “Guys figure it out at different stages and we’re giving him an opportunity to show what he can do.”
The Rangers still have two openings left in their seven-man bullpen to join Figueroa, Ogando, Soria, left-hander Neal Cotts and right-hander Jason Frasor.
Candidates remaining include left-handers Michael Kirkman and Ryan Feierabend, and right-handers Shawn Tolleson, Daniel McCutchen and Seth Rosin.
The Rangers acquired the 6-foot-6 Rosin on a waiver claim from the Dodgers on Wednesday.
“We had solid reports on him this spring,” Daniels said. “He’s a strike thrower. We’ll give him a look here in the next few days in the exhibition games.”
Rosin was one of two players acquired through waivers Wednesday, along with infielder Donnie Murphy. The Rangers cleared spots on the 40-man roster for them by granting right-hander Tommy Hanson his unconditional release and placing outfielder Engel Beltre (fractured right tibia) on the 60-day disabled list.