Alexi Ogando’s first 27 appearances of the season came as a reliever and then he moved into the Rangers’ injury wrecked rotation on June 10, throwing three innings before being shut down with a strained groin.
Six weeks later he’s back from the disabled list and the Rangers’ starting pitching has gotten healthier during that time, so Ogando will resume working out of the bullpen. He threw three scoreless innings on a brief minor-league rehab assignment, striking out five and walking zero at Triple-A.
Koji Uehara is also close to returning from the DL, so Texas’ incredibly deep pitching staff is nearing full strength with “only” Neftali Feliz and Colby Lewis remaining on the shelf. And despite all the pitching injuries the Rangers have baseball’s second-best record at 54-35.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.