Rangers may give struggling Alexi Ogando some time off

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Alexi Ogando’s move from the bullpen to the rotation couldn’t have gone any better early on, as he went 7-0 with a 2.10 ERA and .188 opponents’ batting average through 12 starts for the Rangers.

However, he’s lost each of his last three starts while giving up 15 runs in 10 innings, and manager Ron Washington told Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas that the Rangers will “discuss some options” for possible ways to get Ogando back on track, including perhaps skipping him in the rotation.

Ogando will make his next scheduled start Friday, but if he fares poorly against the Marlins it would make sense to give him a break. In fact, regardless of how he fares Friday it might make sense to lessen Ogando’s workload, as he’s currently on pace to throw 185 innings after throwing a grand total of 154 innings in his first five pro seasons combined.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.