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There's a young pitcher in North Texas who is starting to cement front-rumner status for 2011 AL Rookie of the Year -- except I'm not sure if Alexi Ogando is eligible, after pitching 41.2 innings out of the bullpen last year.

When Neftali Feliz was temporarily moved to the Ranger starting rotation during Spring Training, the club felt they could make the move in part because Ogando was around as a dominant setup man who could close for a pennant-defending squad in Arlington.

Then, the Rangers re-thought that move, left the '10-dominant Feliz in the closer's role, and moved Ogando to the rotation instead. Monday night in Arlington, Ogando tossed a five-hit shutout against the White Sox to move to 5-0 with a 1.81 ERA and a 43/14 K/BB ratio over 59.2 innings in eight starts.

The Dominican Ogando, a native of the legendary San Pedro de Macoris, joined the Texas organization as a Ruele 5 draftee (from division rival Oakland) in 2005. He's 27, which is a little old for a Rookie of the Year candidate, even if he is eligible.

Maybe AO will have to settle for the 2011 AL Cy Young Award instead!

So who saw that coming?

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dan gordon - Monday, May 23 2011 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#235360) #

I don't think he's eligible for ROY.  The innings pitched limit is 50, so he's OK on that score, but there is also a limit of 45 days on a major league roster prior to Sept 1st, and Ogando was on the Texas roster from mid June on last year, so he would have had about 75 days prior to Sept 1st, making him ineligible.

There is, however, another starting pitcher in the AL West who IS eligible for the ROY and he has been maybe even better than Ogando, and that is Michael Pineda of Seattle.  Record of 6-2 with an ERA of 2.16, WHIP of 0.94 and 61 K's vs 14 BB's.  I've seen him pitch a couple of times, and he has filthy stuff.  A good bet to be one of the best starting pitchers in baseball for the next 10 years or more.  Truly dominant stuff.

Picked up both Pineda and Ogando in my online baseball pool, and they've been terrific.

PeteMoss - Monday, May 23 2011 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#235361) #
I'd assume Ogando is going to run into inning issues pretty early this year. He threw about 70 innings last year between the minors and the majors.... he's already at 50 IP this year. I know Nolan Ryan doesn't like babying pitchers... but how many innings are they going to allow him to go this year?
bcool - Monday, May 23 2011 @ 11:51 PM EDT (#235362) #
Ogando's BABIP is also .196. Sell high if you have him in fantasy leagues!
pooks137 - Tuesday, May 24 2011 @ 12:46 AM EDT (#235365) #
I wonder if Texas has any unorthodox practices re: innings limits given Nolan Ryan's outspokeness re: modern pitchers being pampered with limited pitch counts and his belief that heavy workloads build greater arm strength
I don't follow Texas closely enough to know if these are just eccentric comments of the owner or a reflection of a brave, contrarian organizational philosophy.

smcs - Tuesday, May 24 2011 @ 02:21 AM EDT (#235366) #
Well, Texas did implement a different training regiment for pitchers designed to strengthen arms where they basically just throw the ball from really far distances, but there are conflicting reports if this actually does anything... I know Roy Halladay actually throws from 45 feet, or something like that, on his off-days and not many pitchers do that. Does it help him avoid injuries, or even make him a better pitcher, I don't know. I think I have come around to believe three things when it comes to avoidance of pitcher injuries: a consistent and repeatable delivery, avoiding the inverted W and the Verducci Rule of increasing innings from year to year. I know Bruce Walton talked about changing what pitchers do on their off-days ("saving bullets" was the phrase he used) so that they could increase innings at a more aggressive rate than the standard, but I'm not sure we can really figure out if this has worked or not.

Then again, if the Rangers have discovered some new system that affects the ability of their pitchers to avoid injury, it is unlikely that they would say anything about it. They may have looked at what causes pitcher injuries, or what might cause them, and made sure their pitchers did not do that anymore. I haven't really been following the Houston Astros, but has Brad Arnsberg been doing anything differently in Houston than he did in Toronto? Are his pitchers as reliant on the cutter?

scottt - Tuesday, May 24 2011 @ 06:59 AM EDT (#235370) #
Nolan has always credited long toss for building his arm strength.

Verlander, for example, has been on long toss programs since his Little Leagues days.

I've never heard of it as being used to prevent injury.

rpriske - Tuesday, May 24 2011 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#235373) #

I drafted Ogando in my Strat keeper league to act as a set-up man for Joakim Soria.


Who would have thought that Ogando would be in the front-running to be my team's Ace next year, Soria would be well down in the bullpen and my new closer would be late round pick-up, Sergio Santos?


Of course, there is a lot of season left.

Jonny German - Tuesday, May 24 2011 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#235375) #
There's also a rookie catcher who is on pace to hit 28 homers as part of a .252/.314/.528 line for a 133 OPS+ in 117 games played. He may get a vote or two.
Anders - Tuesday, May 24 2011 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#235380) #
As Jonny notes, if their is a hitting candidate, it surely is JPA, though Hosmer's been excellent. JP has probably been one of the 8 or 10 best hitting catchers  in the majors, and a very pleasant surprise.
Timbuck2 - Tuesday, May 24 2011 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#235415) #
I disagree.

Based on all reports to the contrary it has been Arencibia's defence that has been a pleasant surprise to me.  The season he put up last year (after getting his eyes fixed) had already convinced me he had enough bat to play regularly in the majors.

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