Rangers to skip struggling Alexi Ogando in starting rotation

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Alexi Ogando is about to get a bit of a breather.

According to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com, Rangers manager Ron Washington announced this afternoon that Scott Feldman will start in place of Ogando on Monday against the Rays. The struggling right-hander won’t make his next start until September 10 against the Athletics.

Ogando was pulled after just 2 2/3 innings against the Rays on Wednesday and has an 8.34 ERA over his last five starts. Some fatigue isn’t a huge surprise given that he has logged 154 innings this season after throwing 72 1/3 innings between the minors and majors last season, but Washington is convinced that his problems are more mental than physical.

“The velocity is fine and it’s coming out of his hands fine,” Washington said. “It’s just the adjustment part of it. When you get to the adjustment part of it out there when things are not happening like you want them to happen, that’s mental.”

Ogando isn’t the only member of the Rangers’ starting rotation getting a rest. Matt Harrison is scheduled to start tomorrow against the Red Sox, but because of two upcoming off-days, he won’t start again until September 13. Should they continue to struggle, it’s possible one or both could be bullpen-bound if the Rangers make the playoffs.

The Cards dealt Stephen Piscotty to the A’s, in part, so he could be near his ailing mother

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Last night we wrote about the rumored deal between the Cardinals and the Athletics for Stephen Piscotty. The deal is now official, with Piscotty going to Oakland for minor leaguers Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.

Something else emerged about the deal today: a big reason why St. Louis traded Piscotty to Oakland as opposed to another team was so that he could be near his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last May. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

Here’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak:

This was certainly a baseball trade — Piscotty became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired Marcell Ozuna yesterday — but it was one which could’ve been made with any team with a couple of red or white chip prospects. That Mozeliak considered Piscotty’s personal situation in making the deal with the A’s is a credit to him and his staff.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2+ major league seasons. He agreed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last spring.

As for the prospects in return: Munoz, 22, hit .300 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs this year for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Schrock, 23, batted .321 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for Midland, and was a Texas League All-Star.