Alexi Ogando Acosta (born October 5, 1983) is a Dominican former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians. He was an MLB All-Star in 2011.

Alexi Ogando
Ogando with the Braves in 2016
Born: (1983-10-05) October 5, 1983 (age 40)
San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
Professional debut
MLB: June 15, 2010, for the Texas Rangers
KBO: April 1, 2017, for the Hanwha Eagles
Last appearance
MLB: May 4, 2018, for the Cleveland Indians
KBO: September 17, 2017, for the Hanwha Eagles
MLB statistics
Win–loss record33–19
Earned run average3.50
KBO statistics
Win–loss record10–5
Earned run average3.93
Career highlights and awards

Professional career edit

Oakland Athletics edit

Ogando was born in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic. He told the Oakland Athletics that his name was Argenis Benitez, and signed with the team for $15,000 as an outfielder in 2002.[1][2] After playing his rookie season in the Dominican Summer League, Ogando batted .342 with 13 doubles, seven home runs (second in the Arizona League) and 36 runs batted in for the AZL Athletics in 2003. The organization learned Ogando's real name that season.[1] He began the 2004 campaign with the Vancouver Canadians, but after starting the season 0 for 13 and batting .150 in six games, he was demoted back to Arizona. Despite not joining the Arizona League until July 1, he finished second in the league with six home runs and had twenty extra base hits. As a hitter, Ogando was noted for his raw power and bat speed, drawing comparisons to Alex Ríos from his Arizona League Athletics manager Ruben Escalera.[3]

Human trafficking ring edit

The Texas Rangers acquired Ogando in the rule 5 draft in December 2005 and converted him into a pitcher.[4] He earned an invitation to spring training in 2005; however, when he went to the U.S. embassy to pick up his work visa that January, consulate officials were waiting. They had noticed that an inordinate number of young minor league ballplayers had been married in a short period of time to women who had previously been denied visas, and it raised a red flag. Ogando immediately admitted guilt to his involvement in a human trafficking ring, and was assured that he would likely only receive a one-year exclusion, and that he would be able to reapply the following year. As it turned out, he was banned from entering the United States for five years, limiting him to winter ball, the Dominican Summer League and international tournaments.[5][6] Further efforts included sending Ogando to workouts in Japan, to see if any Nippon Professional Baseball teams were interested in his services.[7] Japanese interest in Ogando was not high, and he spent three seasons out of the DSL Rangers' bullpen, going 11–3 with a 1.11 earned run average and 114 strikeouts and holding batters to a .209 batting average. The Texas Rangers contacted the United States government, then led by former team owner George W. Bush, and Ogando was eventually pardoned, after speaking out on the dangers of human trafficking.[8]

Texas Rangers edit

Ogando with the Rangers in 2010

On February 12, 2010, Ogando and Omar Beltré, who was also involved in the human trafficking ring out of the Dominican Republic, were granted visas, and allowed to attend spring training, arriving in the U.S. on February 16.[9] After spring training, he was assigned to the double A Frisco RoughRiders and soon earned a promotion to triple A after dominating the Texas League with a 1.15 ERA in 15.2 innings.

Ogando pitching for the Texas Rangers during spring training in 2011

Although he made three starts with Frisco, he pitched exclusively in relief with the Oklahoma City RedHawks. He appeared in 11 games with Oklahoma City before earning a trip to the major leagues. He replaced starting pitcher Rich Harden on the 25 man roster when Harden was placed on the fifteen-day disabled list with a left gluteal muscle strain.[10] He made his major league debut on June 15, pitching one inning and earning the win against the Florida Marlins.[11] Playing in an NL park, Ogando also got his first hit as a batter. Ogando became just the third relief pitcher since 1900 to win his first three major league appearances.[12] Ogando finished the season with a 4–1 record and an impressive 1.30 ERA.[13]

Ogando started the 2011 season as the Texas Rangers' fifth starter following an injury to Tommy Hunter in spring training.[14] He made his first start on April 5, pitching six scoreless innings against the Seattle Mariners.[15] He started the season 7–0 with a 2.20 ERA and one of the lowest WHIPs in the major leagues. He lost his first game as a starter in a blowout against the Yankees. On July 10, 2011, Ogando was named to the American League All Star team for the first time in his career. Ogando replaced CC Sabathia, who was replacing James Shields, because each was starting against each other on Sunday before the All-Star break.[16][17]

Ogando's pitching performance saw a dramatic decline in the second-half of the season as his total innings far surpassed his 2010 totals. He finished 2011 with 13–8 record and a 3.51 ERA.[18]

In the playoffs, Ogando was converted back to a reliever and won in game 1 of the 2011 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers.[19] Of Ogando's versatility as a starter and reliever, manager Ron Washington remarked, "what a weapon to have".[20] In game 7 of the 2011 World Series, Ogando relieved Mike Gonzalez, who was injured and left the game with a 3-2 count on the batter, Allen Craig, and recorded the strikeout.[21][22]

On June 9, 2013, Ogando was added to the disabled list for the second time in the 2013 season.[23] He missed most of the 2014 season with injuries, pitching to a 2-3 record and a 6.84 ERA in 25 innings pitched.[24] He was non-tendered on December 2, 2014, and became a free agent.[25]

Boston Red Sox edit

Ogando signed a one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox on January 30, 2015.[24] He elected free agency on November 6, 2015.[26]

Atlanta Braves edit

Ogando joined the Atlanta Braves on a minor league deal in December 2015.[27][28] The team purchased his contract on April 2, 2016,[29] and designated him for assignment on June 27, and later released.[30]

Arizona Diamondbacks edit

On July 8, 2016, Ogando signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.[31] He opted out of his contract with Arizona on August 3.[32] With the Triple-A Reno Aces, Ogando pitched to a 1–0 record and 13.50 ERA in 513 innings pitched.[33]

Hanwha Eagles edit

On January 10, 2017, Ogando signed a one-year, $1.8 million contract with the Hanwha Eagles of the KBO League.[34] Ogando started the 13th game against KBO League Doosan Bears on August 9, 2017 in Jamsil Stadium. He was a winning pitcher, but he did not meet expectations. Despite the expectation of a 61-day return to the first game, but gave up six points, the game was left out of content.[35]

Cleveland Indians edit

Ogando signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians on December 20, 2017.[36] The deal includes an invitation to the Indians' 2018 spring training camp.

The Indians purchased Ogando's contract on May 4, 2018. Ogando was optioned back to Triple-A Columbus after one appearance, then designated for assignment on May 20. He was outrighted to Columbus on May 25. Ogando declared free agency on October 5, 2018.[37]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Passan, Jeff (June 3, 2011). "Rangers' Ogando arrives in more ways than one". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  2. ^ Hom, Barry (July 4, 2011). "Alexi Ogando's circuitous route to the big leagues". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved January 3, 2016 – via The Star.
  3. ^ Britton, Tim (February 28, 2015). "Once a power bat, Alexi Ogando now aiming to be Boston's power arm". Providence Journal. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  4. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (April 14, 2011). "Ogando's resilience paying off for Rangers". Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  5. ^ "Role in fraud ruins dreams for Texas Rangers' prospects". Dallas Morning News. March 9, 2008. Archived from the original on October 29, 2008.
  6. ^ "Freedom takes on deeper meaning for Rangers' Alexi Ogando, Omar Beltre". Dallas Morning News. July 4, 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  7. ^ Durrett, Richard (April 17, 2011). "Alexi Ogando rewards patient Rangers". Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  8. ^ Kepner, Tyler (June 18, 2011). "Alexi Ogando: A Rule 5 Tale". New York Times. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  9. ^ T.R. Sullivan (February 12, 2010). "Texas prospects Beltre, Ogando obtain visas".
  10. ^ "Rangers recall RHP Alexi Ogando from AAA Oklahoma City". June 12, 2010. Archived from the original on March 30, 2012. Retrieved June 13, 2010.
  11. ^ T.R. Sullivan (June 15, 2010). "Treanor comes off Texas bench to sink Fish". Archived from the original on 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
  12. ^ Anthony Andro (June 23, 2010). "Some Rangers post-game notes". Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  13. ^ "Alexi Ogando Career Statistics". Retrieved October 4, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Stan McNeal. "Rangers' rotation will get relief after all; Ogando moving from 'pen". Archived from the original on 2012-09-27. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  15. ^ "Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers – Recap – April 5, 2011". April 5, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  16. ^ Baxter, Kevin (July 10, 2011). "MLB All-Star rosters continue to change". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  17. ^ "CC Sabathia outduels Rays' James Shields". New Haven Register. Associated Press. July 10, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  18. ^ "Alexi Ogando Statistics and History". Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  19. ^ "Bullpen wrap: Alexi Ogando goes for two". January 2, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  20. ^ "Texas Rangers Team Report". USA Today. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  21. ^ Lengel, David; Solomon, Michael; Busfield, Steve (October 28, 2011). "Cardinals win World Series – as it happened!". The Guardian. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  22. ^ Borzi, Pat (October 28, 2011). "World Series Game 7: Final: Cardinals 6, Rangers 2". New York Times. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  23. ^ Toman, Chris (June 9, 2013). "Ogando back on DL one start after earlier stint". Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  24. ^ a b Brasseur, Kyle (January 30, 2015). "Alexi Ogando signs with Red Sox". Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  25. ^ Wilson, Jeff (December 2, 2014). "Rangers let pitcher Ogando test free-agent market". Star-Telegram. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  26. ^ Smith, Christopher (November 6, 2015). "Boston Red Sox's Allen Craig outrighted to Pawtucket again; Jean Machi, Alexi Ogando become free agents". The Republican. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  27. ^ Bowman, Mark (December 23, 2015). "Braves, Ogando agree to Minor League deal". Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  28. ^ Bowman, Mark (December 31, 2015). "Braves sign Torres, Kendrick to Minors deals". Archived from the original on March 22, 2016. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  29. ^ Bowman, Mark (April 2, 2016). "Braves regretfully cut Bourn; Bonifacio, too". Archived from the original on April 5, 2016. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  30. ^ Trezza, Joe (June 27, 2016). "Braves call up Cabrera, designate Ogando for assignment". Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  31. ^ Todd, Jeff (July 8, 2016). "Diamondbacks To Sign Alexi Ogando". Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  32. ^ Adams, Steve (August 3, 2016). "Alexi Ogando Opts Out Of Diamondbacks Contract". Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  33. ^ "Alexi Ogando Register Statistics & History". Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  34. ^ "한화이글스, 외국인 투수 알렉시 오간도 영입". (in Korean). January 10, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  35. ^ 맹, 선호 (2017-08-09). "The victory of the return, Hanhwa Ogando". News1 Korea.
  36. ^ "Indians invite Ogando & Upton to Major League camp". December 20, 2017.
  37. ^ Todd, Jeff (October 8, 2018). "Players Electing Free Agency". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved October 9, 2018.

External links edit