Alexi Ogando spent nearly all of this season in the Rangers’ rotation, throwing 167 innings with a 3.56 ERA in 29 starts, but his last appearance came as a reliever and he’ll be working out of the bullpen during the playoffs.
Ogando had never started prior to this season, so the bullpen role will be a familiar one to him, but given the veteran relief help the Rangers added at the trade deadline they’re certainly not short on late-inning options. Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison will be the third and fourth starters instead.
For his career Ogando has a 1.24 ERA and 41/16 K/BB ratio in 44 innings as a reliever, but manager Ron Washington may have trouble finding enough high-leverage work for Ogando, Mike Adams, Koji Uehara, Michael Gonzalez, and Darren Oliver in front of closer Neftali Feliz. It’s a nice problem to have, of course.
The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.
You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.