What's a day without a bullpen crisis for the Rangers?
At this point, they don't know, but they sure would like to find out.
On Wednesday, hours before a 7-6 win over Toronto, the Rangers placed right-hander Darren O'Day on the 60-day disabled listwith a partial tear of the labrum in his left hip. O'Day will undergo surgery Thursday in Nashville. The recovery time for the surgery varies widely based on the degree of the tear.
O'Day is the fourth key member of the expected Opening Day bullpen to be pulled out of the mix. Closer Neftali Feliz is also on the DL with rotator cuff inflammation. Alexi Ogando, who was to be the eighth-inning setup man, is in the rotation due to injuries to that portion of the roster. And Mark Lowe was sent to Class AAA Round Rock after an ineffective first two weeks.
The Rangers' seven-man bullpen now consists of two 40-year-old lefties (Darren Oliver and Arthur Rhodes), right-hander Pedro Strop and four righties who were not on the 40-man roster at the start of spring training: Cody Eppley, Brett Tomko, Dave Bush and Ryan Tucker. The Rangers purchased the contract of Tucker from Round Rock on Wednesday to replace O'Day.
Then Wednesday night, with the game on the line, the Rangers handed the ball to Rhodes and Oliver to finish the game off. Rhodes pitched an uneventful eighth, while Oliver sweated through the middle of the Toronto order to pick up his second save in the last week.
Each of the Rangers' last three wins has been closed out by one of the veteran left-handers. The Rangers had hoped to the lefties would have lighter workloads this season, especially since Oliver wore down in the second half of the 2010 season. Instead, the pair have become the anchors of the rigged-up bullpen.
"It's all hands on deck," manager Ron Washington said. "It's no time right now to be babying. When we get healthy, we may be able to go back to that. I'm trying to win games. We're not going to talk about using somebody up. Right now, we're trying to win ballgames. I don't think they're concerned about that either."
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