ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas Rangers have the best record in the American League despite dealing with a host of pitching injuries.
They added to that Thursday but putting right-handed starter Alexi Ogando on the 15-day disabled list with right biceps tendinitis. The club called up right-handed reliever Cory Burns from Triple-A Round Rock to take Ogando’s roster spot.
The club will make another move before Monday’s game against Oakland as Josh Lindblom is scheduled to make that start.
Ogando experienced some pain during his win Wednesday in Oakland but manager Ron Washington wasn’t aware of the injury until Thursday.
“It’s minor,” Washington said. “He’s a starting pitcher and he takes on a big work load. Rather than let this drag on, we just decided we’re going to nip it in the bud and get it right so he doesn’t feel anything. Just keeping him from himself because he’ll take the ball and go out there.”
Burns was 0-1 with a 1.38 ERA in 14 relief appearances with Round Rock, while striking out 18 in 13 innings. The Rangers opted to go with him over a lefty — like Neal Cotts — because they already have three lefties in their bullpen.
“He’s pitching extremely well,” Washington said of Burns. “He’s got out pitches and he can spot the baseball.”
Ogando (4-2) is on the DL for the second time in his career. Last year he missed more than a month with a strained right groin.
The Ranger already have starters Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis on the DL. Harrison, who is recovering from back surgery, made an appearance in the clubhouse Thursday but is still months away from pitching in a game.
Lewis is slated to throw a bullpen session on Friday and make a rehab start for Double-A Frisco Monday.
That’s a lot of pitching on the DL for a team with a seven-game lead in the West but it’s also what Washington expects.
“That just means we’ve got pretty good depth around here,” Washington said. “Drama is something those guys in the clubhouse are used to. Adversity is something those guys in that clubhouse are used to. When it happens, the expectation is someone else has to step up.
“If you can’t step up, we’ll get somebody else to step up.”