Texas Rangers Notes: The struggles of three and an addition of an angel
Alexi Ogando is apparently human after all, at least in the eyes of the New York Yankees.
For the second time in as many starts against them, Ogando was taken apart on Tuesday night in the Bronx in what was his shortest outing of the 2011 season. After a scoreless first inning, Ogando was tagged for six runs in the second inning and was pulled by manager Ron Washington with two outs in the second inning.
Back on April 17, his third start of the season, Ogando gave up five runs to the Yankees but was able to get through 6.1 innings.
The last time Ogando gave up five runs or more was back on May 29 at home against the Kansas City Royals.
Another guy who had a tough time last night, and who has been having a tough time most of the season, is second baseman Ian Kinsler.
When he popped out in the fifth inning with runners in scoring position and nobody out, it dropped his batting average with runners in scoring position to an abysmal .196. That average is even worse on the road (.182). Kinsler needs to be a bigger part of this offense or the Rangers will be left relying on Josh Hamilton and Michael Young.
The reason I didn’t mention Nelson Cruz among the players the Rangers will rely on is his continued struggles which carried through Tuesday night’s game.
After a strikeout in the sixth inning, Cruz lengthened his hitless streak to 14 straight at-bats to go along with nine strikeouts.
Another pitcher who had a tough outing was Angels’ left hander Scott Kazmir who, during a minor league start against Sacramento, gave up six runs on over 1.2 innings. The Angels are probably regretting giving him the $14.5 million contract and will not be able to trade him to a team who’s willing to take on that kind of money.
The Texas Rangers will probably look to make a deal for a starter or two and possibly look to strengthen their bullpen at the trade deadline. Kazmir is a guy I thought the Rangers should keep an eye on and if he’s released by the Angels, I would at least be willing to take a flier on him to see if he can at least help you in the bullpen.
Allow pitching coach Mike Maddux to work with him a little bit and see if it’s something he can work out whether it’s mechanics, focus or confidence. It’s not going to cost the team prospects, and it might be worth the risk.
On the downside, I know the Rangers are already taking a flier on one pitcher, Brandon Webb, who isn’t having the same kind of success he’s had in the past. Adding another might not be the best idea.
But if one of both of these guys can fix their problems and be even 80 to 90 percent of what they were before, it’s a win for this ballclub.