Rangers right-hander Alexi Ogando spent nearly the entire 2012 campaign in the bullpen and had a great deal of success, finishing with a 3.27 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP and a 66/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
But he is not satisfied with that setup role.
According to beat writer Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, Ogando has expressed a desire to return to the Rangers’ starting rotation, where he registered a promising 3.56 ERA across 26 outings in 2011.
“My wish is to be a starter, but they haven’t mentioned that at all,” Ogando told reporters through an interpreter on Saturday afternoon. “I’m going to go into the offseason and get ready to pitch and whatever they decide, they decide.”
Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and Yu Darvish are locked into rotation spots, but Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz will both be stuck in rehab mode on Opening Day. Which means there should be an opening.
The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.
Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.
While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.