Red Sox Report Cards: Alexi Ogando


Now that the 2015 season is in the books, the BoSox Injection staff will hand out their final report cards, grading the performances of each member of the Boston Red Sox roster based on their expectations entering the season.

C-. . Relief Pitcher. . ALEXI OGANDO

2015 Stats: 3-1, 3.99 ERA, 65.1 IP, 59 H, 29 R, 28 BB, 53 K, 1.33 WHIP, 5.32 FIP, -0.9 WAR

The past

Alexi Ogando is an excellent example of some of the gems that can be mined under baseball’s Rule 5. Ogando, originally signed by Oakland, was scooped up by the Texas Rangers and burst upon the Texas baseball scene in 2010 as bullpen operative. Ogando was not finished.

In 2011 Texas, which went to the World Series that season, shifted Ogando, who was anointed to the All-Star team, into the rotation and then back to the bullpen for the playoffs. Alas, the WS was not exactly a memorable experience unless you were part of the Cardinals lineup.

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For the next three seasons the lanky right-hander was plagued by both injuries and performance issues and, quite naturally, a linkage does occur. The Rangers finally moved on and Ogando, now 32-years-old, signed a free agent deal with Boston. A classic throw it against the wall and see if it sticks move.

The present

An Ogando appearance is similar to a lottery scratch ticket – you may have a winner or you may not. Ogando lead the Sox bullpen – statistically dead last in MLB – in innings pitched for 2015 with 65.1. The rest of the stat line is certainly not anything that will make you click your ruby slippers together. Fewer hits (59) than innings, a somewhat inflated BB/9 of 3.9, an alarming 5.32 FIP and a less alarming 3.99 ERA.

The season itself showed some statistics regarding the deeper metrics that were very similar to Ogando’s very productive 2011 stint with Texas. The speed is still there at 94.4 MPH compared to 95 MPH in the glory year. So Ogando can still “bring it” and one issue is hitters can still “get it” as demonstrated by 12 balls leaving the yard.

The Red Sox closer situation was in peril during the season and Ogando had his opportunities and that resulted in four blown saves. The propensity for walks and long balls makes any closer situation with Ogando one in which it is best to take a bathroom break or grab a beer while one awaits either a stellar or a cellar moment.

The future

The ability to toss multiple innings is a plus and Ogando can do that. But so can Matt Barnes, Steven Wright, Heath Hembree and several others. They can certainly do it cheaper and often as efficiently or as depressing. What you get with Alexi is a veteran with stagnant performance and that could be the professional death knell in Boston.

Ogando is also arbitration eligible and the way that trinket operates is even failure ends up with significant fiscal reward. With a bullpen that makes the Tacoma Narrows Bridge appear as an engineering marvel the chances are that Mr. Ogando will be in another uniform in 2016.

Sources: Fangraphs

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