After switching him back and forth between the bullpen and rotation for three seasons the Rangers are now committed to sticking with Alexi Ogando as a full-time starter.
And he’s happy about that, telling T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com: “This is what I want. For me, starting is easier. You have four days off and every fifth day you pitch. I like the routine of the starter.”
Ogando made the All-Star team as a starter in 2011 and has a 3.49 ERA in 30 career starts, but he also has a 2.53 ERA in 103 career relief appearances.
Sullivan notes that one big difference for Ogando is that he relied almost exclusively on his fastball-slider combination as a reliever, using his changeup just 11 times in 1,040 pitches. As a starter in 2011 he threw his changeup about four times more often, which still isn’t much, but he’s apparently planning to work it into his repertoire more this season.
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.
As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.
We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.
James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:
Spring training is less than a month away, folks!