ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are giving serious thought to returning reliever Alexi Ogando to the rotation to help make up for the loss of Colby Lewis, who will miss the rest of the season with a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow.
"That's something that we've discussed," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "If we do that, we've got to find a way to get him stretched out."
Right now, the Rangers have Scott Feldman filling Lewis' spot in the rotation. Martin Perez, who started against the Red Sox on Tuesday, will shift to the bullpen. Feldman held the Red Sox to one run in seven innings in a 9-1 victory on Monday. Feldman is scheduled to pitch again on Monday against the Angels.
The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline is the following day. If the Rangers can't make a trade for starting pitching help, then they will consider putting Ogando into the rotation.
"That's my wish, you know that," Ogando said. "I'd like to start."
The Rangers would need to reinforce their bullpen if they move Ogando to the rotation. They could make a trade or they could put Neftali Feliz in the bullpen when he is ready to come off the disabled list. They could also have Mark Lowe ready to come off the disabled list before the Trade Deadline. But they would like to strengthen their bullpen before moving Ogando to the rotation.
"If we can't and we decide to do it, we'll do it," Washington said.
Ogando was 13-8 with a 3.51 ERA as a starter in 2011 before returning to the bullpen this season. The Rangers moved him to the rotation on June 10 and he threw three scoreless innings against the Giants. But he had to leave the game in the top of the fourth after sustaining a strained right groin muscle running the bases. He was activated a week ago and has allowed three runs in three innings over four games.
"He's been good and not so good," Washington said. "That's to be expected. The velocity is there and his slider looks like it has come back a little bit. It's a matter of him seeing batters. As long as he's healthy, I'm comfortable Ogando will figure it out."