Andrew Friedman hinted a few weeks ago that the bullpen makeover might not be finished yet, and it appears he is staying true to his word.
Peter Gammons tweeted some interesting news this morning:
Scouts I know liked Ogando's workout. Red Sox, Dodgers aggressive, know next week
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) January 13, 2015
Ogando, 31, has spent his entire career with the Texas Rangers up to this date. During his rookie campaign in 2010, he emerged as one of the game’s elite setup men out of the bullpen, posting a 1.30 ERA in 41.2 innings pitched. In his sophomore season, he was converted to a starting pitcher, where he continued to dominate the league, and was rewarded with an All-Star appearance. He notched 13 wins and recorded a 3.51 ERA in 169.0 innings pitched, to go along with a 1.14 WHIP, 3.65 FIP and 3.7 fWAR.
In 2012, he only made one start and was slotted back to the bullpen. He still put up quality numbers, posting a 3.27 ERA in 66.0 innings pitched, flashing an impressive 66-to-17 K/BB ratio. The following year, he was given the chance to start again, but injuries derailed his season. He wound up on the disabled list three separate times, experiencing consistent nerve inflammation in his shoulder.
The trend continued in June 2014, this time landing on the disabled list with elbow inflammation. In just two months prior to that, he posted a 6.84 ERA in 25.0 innings out of the bullpen. His 3.81 FIP indicates he was much better than the stats showed as he was the victim to an unsustainable .386 BABIP (batting average on balls in play). His K/9 improved from the previous season (6.2 in ’13, 7.9 in ’14), but his walks total grew to be a major concern (15 in 25.0 IP).
The Rangers ended up non-tendering Ogando after the 2014 season concluded, making him a free agent for the very first time. Another noted team with interest is the Boston Red Sox, who are also showing “aggressive” interest in him. His agent has made it clear he has recovered nicely from his past injuries and should be good to go by the beginning of Spring Training.
If Ogando proves to be healthy, there’s no reason to believe he can’t regain his form from 2010-2013. He could probably be had on a minor-league contract with incentives, which makes a lot of sense for the Dodgers who are always trying to improve their bullpen depth. If an injury happens to the starting rotation, he can also slot back to being a starting pitcher, in which he also had success. This is a potential low-risk, high-reward signing for Los Angeles, and that’s exactly what the new regime excels at.
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