Alexi Ogando’s versatility has basically allowed the Rangers to move him back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen based on whichever spot has been wrecked more by injuries.
He’s thrived in both roles and with Colby Lewis out for the season following Tommy John elbow surgery, Neftali Feliz on the disabled list with his own elbow problems, and Roy Oswalt’s bad back acting up the Rangers are considering moving him into the rotation again.
For now Ogando remains in the bullpen, where he has a 1.95 ERA in 77 career appearances, but general manager Jon Daniels told Drew Davison of the Forth Worth Star Telegram that making him a starter again is “something we’ve talked about” and “we may look for opportunities in the game to stretch him out and give us that option.”
For now 21-year-old prospect Martin Perez is plugging the rotation hole, but if he struggles Ogando and his 3.49 ERA in 30 career starts is one hell of a fallback option.
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.