Ogando signed a minor league contract with the Braves on Wednesday that includes an invite to the team's spring training, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. Ogando enjoyed a bit of a bounce back with the Red Sox in 2015, cutting his ERA from 2014 (6.84) down to a respectable 3.99 mark. That said, his FIP was alarmingly high at 5.32, which indicates that he could be due for a regression to the mean in 2016. However, he'll have a chance to make the Braves' Opening Day roster if he can put together a solid spring training.
Ogando elected free agency after being outrighted off the 40-man roster Friday, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports. Ogando had a mostly successful season in Boston, working to a 3.99 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 65.1 innings, but it apparently wasn't enough to convince the Red Sox to keep him on the roster. He should be able to find a role in the middle of a bullpen wherever he lands.
Red Sox reliever Alexi Ogando retired the only batter he faced, ending the ninth inning and stranding two batters in Friday's extra-inning win over Tampa. Ogando earned the win, his first since April 24, and improved to 2-0 on the season. He hasn't allowed a run in his last nine outings.
The 100-mile-an-hour fastball that defined Red Sox right-hander Alexi Ogando when he pitched for the Rangers a few years ago is gone, but he is still throwing in the mid-90s and he's happy with that. So are the Sox, for whom Ogando has six strikeouts in six innings and has been a gem in the seventh-inning setup role. "It's nice that it's up there," Ogando told the Boston Herald about his velocity. "It's one of those things that gradually works its way up there." Ogando has yielded just one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings over his last three outings, striking out four along the way.
Red Sox manager John Farrell appears to be less sold closer Koji Uehara's status for Opening Day then he did a week ago when his closer suffered a left hamstring strain, according to MLB.com. "I think with each passing day he's not in a game, there's growing concern, concern in the sense, 'Will he be ready for April 6?' And we're just working through that," said Farrell. Uehara could throw a bullpen session at some point this week, but it appears as if the Red Sox are taking a cautious approach with their right-handed reliever. Edward Mujica and Alexi Ogando are candidates to fill in for Uehara in the ninth while he remains sidelined.