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  1. Texas is doubling down on the stupid. If keeping good pitchers in the bullpen is as important as the Rangers say it is, isn’t putting their second best reliever in the rotation contradictory?

    I keep picturing Nolan Ryan holding Jon Daniels in a headlock until he agreed to Feliz back into the bullpen.

    Comment by Mike L — March 29, 2011 @ 11:30 am

  2. This rotation has its chances to be very solid come July, but for a World Series competitor, you’re putting a ton of stress on your bullpen early on to compensate for health/inexperience concerns with every SP slot you have. Depending on Webb’s return, Texas might have one of the strangest and least experienced rotations in baseball.

    Comment by baty — March 29, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

  3. Why do you think that the Rangers really believe they should keep good pitchers in the bullpen? Couldn’t they just be saying that so they don’t have to say, “We don’t think Neftali is quite ready to be the dominant starter he can be, so we’re going to keep him in the pen this year?” It seems like common sense to praise the job you’re putting him into rather than treat it like a demotion.

    Comment by Terry — March 29, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

  4. Looking at his profile on Texas Leaguers, it looks to me like his success last year was tied very heavily to the plus fastball. Despite the separation between the FB and slider, the velo on the slider increased as the season went on and he got more strikeouts with it. He also threw it less. It is entirely possible that the little-used changeup has developed and that his stuff is good enough to make the transition. I just don’t think last years’ performance in relief offers any indication one way or the other. Will be fun to watch.

    Comment by Paul — March 29, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  5. I’d be curious if Ogando has pitched much in winter ball. It could have a material impact on his innings numbers, and thus on how much Texas can reasonably expect from him this year.

    As an aside, Ogando might be an interesting person to observe to see how Texas, with Ryan’s revolution in pitcher conditioning, treats pitchers increasing their workload.

    Comment by gabriel — March 29, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

  6. Looks like the Rangers are indeed going short-term as mentioned in third to last paragraph.

    Comment by Tommy — March 29, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

  7. ?_?

    Free Neftali Feliz!

    Comment by Crap Shoot — March 29, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

  8. Well the Rangers need an experienced closer in the 9th. However, for the first 6-7 innings (more like 4-5 with some of these guys) any guy will be fine.

    Somehow the Rangers found a way to screw this all up. Despite all the talent, I look up an down the roster between the Rangers and As and it’s looking more and more like the As have the team that’s built to win this year.

    Comment by Ed Nelson — March 29, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

  9. The Tiger’s moving Coke from the bull-pen to the rotation was silly, the Ranger’s moving Ogando is rediculous. Feliz was a starter in the minors, he has some experience to build upon. Ogando has none. If you think his future is as a starter, send him to AAA and let him try it out. The guy pitches 10 innings all spring and now you expect him to throw 5 or 6 every fifth day?

    Comment by Preston — March 29, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

  10. I’m guessing that Ogando was picked over Feliz to avoid yo-yoing Feliz from the bullpen, to the rotation, and back to the bullpen again.

    IMO, Feliz should be in the rotation long-term, but if the Texas FO believes that Webb and Hunter will be ready to go in May, a rotation of Lewis, Wilson, Webb, Hunter, Holland doesn’t leave any room for Ogando or Feliz.

    IOW, when May rolls around (assuming Webb and Hunter are healthy), Ogando will return to the bullpen. If Texas truly believes that the club is better off having a rotation of Lewis, Wilson, Webb, Hunter, Holland, it makes sense to keep Feliz in the consistent role of closer.

    Comment by UTB — March 29, 2011 @ 10:30 pm

  11. I actually picture Ryan giving Daniels noogies for allowing Feliz to close

    Comment by AA — March 29, 2011 @ 11:25 pm

  12. Coke was a very successful starter in the minors before coming up and being told he was a LOOGY. As recently as 2008, he started 21 games in the high minors for the Yankees and the results were decent:

    135.2 IP, 124 H, 44 BB, 137 K, 2.79 ERA

    Ogando has no track record to speak of, so I agree that moving him to the rotation is insane.

    Comment by JC — March 30, 2011 @ 9:24 am

  13. I think most of us think, and rightfully so, that Webb has come down with a tragic case of Mark Prior disease and will never pitch a game as a starting pitcher again. So this is more of a case of Wilson (good #2), Lewis (good #3) Holland (maybe a #1 someday but now a #4) and Hunter (bad) and Harrison (bad).

    Comment by Ed Nelson — March 30, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

  14. Erm, yeah, this prediction isn’t looking too good a week later.

    Comment by JoeC — April 5, 2011 @ 8:18 am

  15. Giving a guy a chance to convert from reliever to starter (especially on a temporary basis) is “insane” because he doesn’t have a track record of starting? Did CJ Wilson have a track record of starting? Must every pitcher have a track record in order to get a chance? Feliz didn’t have a track record as a closer either, yet look what he’s done.

    Comment by JoeC — April 5, 2011 @ 8:21 am

  16. Which is just fine for a team that can score as much as the Rangers can.

    Come playoff time, obviously a different story as the quality of pitching they’ll face goes up a notch, but they did win 2 of their 3 playoff series last year, so there is still hope that BIG OFFENSE can beat BIG PITCHING.

    Comment by JoeC — April 5, 2011 @ 8:23 am

  17. Cliff Lee

    Comment by a seattle fan — April 5, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

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