Tag:Brett Tomko
Posted on: April 27, 2011 1:11 pm
Edited on: April 27, 2011 4:41 pm

O'Day injury strains Texas bullpen

By Matt Snyder

Rangers relief pitcher Darren O'Day is headed to the disabled list with a torn labrum in his hip, reports ... Darren O'Day. Yes, gotta love the modern-day social media. O'Day posted this on his Facebook page Wednesday morning:

"Headed to the DL for a torn labrum in my left hip. Beyond that, I dont know much. Hopefully recovery will be quick, and I'll be back on the mound in no time."

Well, Wednesday afternoon, we know more and it's not good. He's headed to the 60-day disabled list and surgery is possible. (Dallas Morning News via Twitter)

With All-Star closer Neftali Feliz also on the shelf and Alexi Ogando in the rotation, that's three of the back-end bullpen arms the Rangers had planned upon by late March now not in the bullpen.

At present, the back-end has the ancient Arthur Rhodes and Darren Oliver -- who appears to be the top closing option with Feliz out. There are former starters Dave Bush and Brett Tomko as middle relief options. Pedro Strop and rookie Cody Eppley -- who looked good in his two-inning debut -- are left as the setup guys.

The bullpen hasn't been awful by any means this year. Rangers' relievers collectively have a 4.13 ERA, which is seventh in the AL. But now the anchor has been removed as has one of the better support men in O'Day (2.45 ERA in 7 1/3 innings).

To be very fair, Oliver, Rhodes, Strop, Eppley and Bush have been quite good -- albeit with limited time for some. It's just that as everyone gets bumped back one or two spots in his specific role in the bullpen, there's much less stability for the group as a whole. In turn, the starting pitchers may start to feel the strain as well, as they're expected to work deeper into games in hopes to not tax the new guys like Eppley and whoever replaces O'Day -- which looks like Ryan Tucker (ESPN Dallas ) -- or overwork the reliable veterans.

Feliz should be back by mid-May, and the guess is by then it will be a big reprieve from an area that evolved into a problem for the defending AL champs. If not, well, that's one deep staff.

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Posted on: April 20, 2011 8:29 pm

Tomko unlikely to help Rangers out of bullpen

TomkoBy Evan Brunell

In a spate of moves Wednesday, the Rangers purchased the contract of Brett Tomko from Triple-A, marking the veteran's return to the majors for the first time since 2009.

While the Rangers needed to make a move after Michael Kirkman blew up Tuesday by giving up six runs in 1 1/3 innings, is Tomko really the best choice? His career 4.65 ERA in the majors belies what has been a poor string of results for the former seventh-place finisher in Rookie of the Year balloting way back in 1997. Over his last three big-league seasons, Tomko has a 5.36 ERA split between the Dodgers, Padres, Royals, Padres again, Yankees and Athletics before battling a right shoulder strain to close the year.

And since then, Tomko hasn't shown anything of note. The right-hander bounced around Oakland's minor-league system last year, trying to recover from injury. Two starts in rookie ball netted him a 6.23 ERA while six apiece in Double-A and Triple-A left him with ERAs over 7.00, and in two starts for Texas' Triple-A team this year, he was at a tidy 6.35 ERA. Not exactly someone who inspires confidence.

Tomko will be pitching out of the bullpen for the Rangers and belongs in the long man role, but Dave Bush is currently handling that role and has nigh been a nonfactor. That means Tomko's probably occupying a middle relief role. It's possible his fastball could play better in relief after not starting, but there's simply nothing in Tomko's recent history -- or entire history, really -- to suggest he can be a solid reliever.

That said, Tomko's stay in the majors could be brief. If and when the club brings back Tommy Hunter and Scott Feldman (and who knows, maybe Brandon Webb will get in on the action as well) that should spell the end of Tomko -- and Bush, too.

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Posted on: March 27, 2011 2:25 pm

Rangers looking to start Ogando

By Matt Snyder

With Tommy Hunter's ill-timed groin injury, the Rangers still have one open spot in the starting pitching rotation, and it appears Alexi Ogando is close to filling it. Ogando was moved to the bullpen -- in a setup role for stud closer Neftali Feliz -- last week, but the Hunter injury has forced the Rangers to rethink things. Ogando is going to stretch back out as a starter, which shouldn't be difficult considering he was starting just over a week ago, and will start Tuesday in an exhibition game. If things go well, he'll be slotted fourth, with Derek Holland being the No. 5. (Dallas Morning News )

Dave Bush, who was thought to be in the mix, has made the team and will join the bullpen as a long reliever. He's certainly still an option to start, should Ogando falter. Brett Tomko is another option, as he fights for one of the final roster spots. Michael Kirkman is still a consideration, but the Ogando move doesn't bode well for his immediate chances.

Ogando, 27, was stellar last season out of the pen. He compiled a 1.30 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 39 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings. He has a 5.06 ERA in 10 2/3 spring innings.

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Posted on: March 18, 2011 2:58 pm

Rangers' rotation shuffle shaking out

By Matt Snyder

According to pitching coach Mike Maddux, the Rangers have settled on the pitchers to fill the third and fourth spots in their starting rotation, behind C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis.

Though it was not official, Maddux told a radio show that Tommy Hunter and Matt Harrison were close to being given the nod and that "the other spot is going to come down to the last couple weeks." (ESPN Dallas )

That last spot has a whole six guys still in the mix. Obviously, if management wants Neftali Feliz in the rotation, that's his spot. If not, the Rangers are deciding between Derek Holland, Michael Kirkman, Dave Bush, Brett Tomko and Alexi Ogando.

The smart money there is on Holland, though Kirkman is an up-and-coming prospect and Bush has the wily veteran factor. It just depends on which direction the Rangers want to go. That spot is probably a temp gig anyway, with Brandon Webb making progress and a sure bet to join the fray at some point during the first half of the season.

Hunter, 24, has an 8.31 ERA this spring, but has struck out 10 guys and only walked one. He was 13-4 last season with a 3.73 ERA in 128 innings.

Harrison, 25, has only allowed five hits and one earned run in nine spring innings (1.00 ERA). He had a 4.71 ERA in 37 appearances last season -- only six of which were starts. He was 1-1 with a 5.29 ERA as a starter.

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