Rangers change their minds, move Alexi Ogando into rotation

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Last week the Rangers announced that both Neftali Feliz and Alexi Ogando would be remaining in the bullpen despite trying out for the rotation this spring, but with Tommy Hunter likely to miss at least six weeks with a groin injury and Brandon Webb nowhere close to contributing they’ve decided to make Ogando a starter after all.

I’m still of the opinion that they should have just given Feliz a chance to show he’s a top-of-the-rotation guy and what’s interesting about their willingness to let Ogando but not Feliz start is that Ogando wasn’t even a starter in the minors.

Feliz was a starter through his first three-and-a-half pro seasons and ranked as a top prospect on the basis of his future as a starter, whereas Ogando has started a grand total of three professional games

As with all young pitchers it makes sense to see if they can capably fill a 200-inning role before locking them into a 70-inning role, but if the Rangers are willing to do that with Ogando why not just do it with Feliz? After all, Feliz has far more starting experience and subtracting Ogando from the bullpen is a significant blow as well after he posted a 1.30 ERA and 39/16 K/BB ratio in 42 innings as a rookie.

Diamondbacks promote Anthony Banda

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Diamondbacks’ left-hander Anthony Banda is set to make his big league debut on Saturday, per a team announcement. The Diamondbacks recalled the southpaw from Triple-A Reno prior to the game after Taijuan Walker was placed on paternity leave.

It’s been a rough season for the club’s top prospect, who enters Saturday’s contest with a 5.08 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.3 SO/9 over his first 101 innings in Triple-A this season. The 23-year-old lefty carries a 7-5 record through his first 18 starts and is coming off of his worst outing of the year, during which he issued 15 hits, seven runs and just one strikeout against the Angels-affiliated Salt Lake Bees.

Facing Banda is Nationals’ right-hander Tanner Roark, who owns a 4.98 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 through 106 2/3 innings in 2017. Roark pitched a respectable six innings in his last start, scattering four hits, three runs and five strikeouts en route to his seventh win of the season. He also has the added benefit of pitching behind one of the league’s most potent offenses, and boasts a hefty run support average of 5.68 runs per game.

The D-backs currently lead the Nationals, 1-0, and will face off for their second game at 8:10 ET on Saturday night.

Report: Dodgers are considering a trade for Addison Reed

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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Dodgers are “exploring a possible deal” for Mets’ right-hander Addison Reed. It’s not the first time the righty has incurred interest from a top contender. The Brewers, Yankees and Red Sox are all supposedly in on Reed, and Newsday’s Marc Carig adds that up to half a dozen teams have already made inquiries prior to the trade deadline.

Reed, 28, is currently in his third campaign with the Mets. He’s coming off of a career-best performance in 2016, during which he looked nearly unhittable with a 1.97 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.5 SO/9 through 77 2/3 innings. His numbers have regressed a little in 2017, but he’s still working with 16 saves and a solid 2.35 ERA, 1.2 BB/9 and 9.2 SO/9 through his first 46 innings.

While there’s no doubt Reed would help stabilize any bullpen he’s dealt to, the Dodgers may have less of a prominent position to offer the right-hander. Kenley Jansen has already locked down the closing role in Los Angeles, which would likely see Reed in some kind of set-up role as he finishes his last season before hitting free agency.