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To say Alexi Ogando has been a successful starter is like saying that Texas is sort of hot in the summer.
Alexi Ogando—is he this year's Tommy Hunter or CJ Wilson?
Regardless, Alexi Ogando's emergence as a premier starter has been the story of the season for the Texas Rangers.
Like Hunter a year ago, Ogando burst onto the scene and won his first seven games in a row. And like Wilson, Ogando did it in his first year after being converted from a reliever into a starter.
The luck that the Rangers have had in converting relievers into starters over the last two years is almost comical—it's been that successful.
Ogando came back down to earth in June, when he lost three games in a row—his first three losses of the season—allowing 19 hits over just 9.2 innings. He surrendered 10 earned runs during his losing streak and struck out only five.
Questions began to arise about Ogando's workload—he's already thrown 56 more innings this year than he did a year ago.
There were even whispers that after his last start—July 1st against Florida—that his next scheduled start would be skipped so he could be shutdown early for an extended All-Star break rest.
The questions have seemingly been answered, as Ogando was outstanding in his last start against the Marlins, where he struck out a career-high eight and improved his record to 8-3 and dropped his ERA to 2.86. It's now being reported that he will make his next scheduled start prior to the All-Star break.
However, Texas Rangers' skipper Ron Washington has made public that his next start will be his last for 12 days. Chances are if he pitches well in that start, the whispers will subside and the Rangers can get ready for a stretch run with one of the AL's best starters in tow.
Sure, Ogando is certainly no Cliff Lee, but he is another top-of-the-rotation starter that will help the Rangers on their path to the postseason.