ARLINGTON, Texas —The depth of the Texas Rangers pitching staff is being put to the test once again.
Texas put right-hander Alexi Ogando on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin and recalled left-hander Michael Kirkman from Round Rock.
The move was retroactive to Monday but Ogando, who was an All-Star last season, will be out much longer as he’ll likely to miss four to six weeks.
As of now, the Rangers are undecided on who will start Saturday’s game against Houston. The Rangers are thin at starting pitching as left-hander Derek Holland and right-hander Neftali Feliz are already on the disabled list.
Ogando was making a spot start Sunday when he hurt his groin on a bunt in the fourth inning against San Francisco. He had a no-hitter going at the time.
The Rangers have options Saturday but they aren’t revealing much. It likely won’t be either Robbie Ross or Kirkman. Ross has been too effective in relief. The lone lefty in the bullpen until Kirkman was recalled, Ross is 6-0 with a 1.30 ERA.
Kirkman has been better in Triple A lately but still had a 5.25 ERA in his 15 games, eight of which were starts.
“We looked at our options but we haven’t made a decision on anything,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “We haven’t really nailed anything down other than mentioning things. There’s nothing planned right now. We’ll have somebody to pitch for Saturday.”
Washington also ruled out right-hander Roy Oswalt, who started for Double A Frisco Tuesday. Washington said Oswalt needs at least one more start after tonight.
Ogando said his groin felt better Monday but worse Tuesday and he had a platelet injection to try and accelerate the healing process.
“I feel bad today because I had the injection but most importantly I’m sad because it’s a long time to be injured and the team needs pitching,” Ogando said. “But I cannot look back. I can only look ahead and work as hard as they permit me and try to get back.”
Replacing Ogando will be a difficult task. An All-Star as a starter last year, Ogando had a 2.08 ERA in 28 appearances. His absence will mean more work for right-handers Mark Lowe and Koji Uehara.
“You don’t make up for that loss,” Washington said. “We feel like all the personnel we have is quality personnel. We’re certainly not going to mope around. We’re not going to make excuses.”
The Rangers did get some good news on the pitching injury front. When Feliz was with the team last week in Los Angeles, his right elbow was examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum and the right elbow sprain he has isn’t as severe as originally thought.
There’s a chance he could begin throwing Friday. He said a good target for a return would be after the All-Star break.
Holland is also gaining his strength back after going on the DL last week with left shoulder fatigue brought on by a stomach virus. He’s already put on four pounds and is hoping to be ready to return to the team when he’s eligible to come off the DL June 21.
Holland, who lost 15 pounds, hasn’t started throwing yet and Washington believes Holland will need a rehab start.
“The shoulder’s getting better,” Holland said. “Everything seems fine. I couldn’t believe it was weak. I guess if you lose so much weight so fast the body’s not used to it and I guess it’s going to take a toll on it at some point.