According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers are considering moving Alexi Ogando back to the bullpen for the rest of the regular season and a potential playoff run.
The recent struggles of relievers Yoshinori Tateyama and Koji Uehara are forcing the Rangers’ hand, but Ogando has seemingly hit the wall as a result of a career-high workload. The 27-year-old right-hander has a 5.20 ERA over 55 1/3 innings since the All-Star break and has completed seven innings in a start just twice.
Ogando thrived in a relief role as a rookie with the Rangers last season, posting a 1.30 ERA and 39/16 K/BB ratio over 41 2/3 innings, so this might be the best way to utilize him the rest of the way.
If Ogando is indeed bumped to the bullpen, the Rangers would likely go with C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and Derek Holland as probable starters for the postseason.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.