Rangers tab three catchers, put Ogando in 'pen

Rangers tab three catchers, put Ogando in 'pen

Rangers tab three catchers, put Ogando in 'pen
ARLINGTON -- Matt Treanor will be on the playoff roster as the Rangers have decided to go with a seven-man bullpen for their American League Division Series against the Rays.

Alexi Ogando and Scott Feldman will be part of that bullpen. The Rangers wanted Treanor as their third catcher because it will give manager Ron Washington flexibility in how they use Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli. This allows him to use both in the same lineup, which could be the case in Game 1 on Friday with Rays left-hander Matt Moore on the mound.

"It gives us versatility with both Torrealba and Napoli, with Napoli being versatile against left-handers," Washington said. "Both of them have been very productive for us this year, and I want both of them to stay engaged. And that's what it gives me. It gives me versatility, especially with Napoli being able to go in the DH spot and play some first base. May want to DH Torre [Torrealba] and catch Napoli, and I still have a catcher if something happens."

Washington also confirmed that Napoli will be his No. 1 catcher. After hitting two home runs on Wednesday, Napoli batted .383 with 18 home runs, 42 RBIs and a .706 slugging percentage after the All-Star break.

"I will keep the hot bat in the lineup," Washington said. "That's how I am going to handle that. Torre will get some time, but right now it is about putting the best team on the field. If Napoli gives me that, Napoli will be out there. Torre played as great a part of being here as anyone on that team, so there isn't anyone getting shunned right here. We are about winning ballgames with the best nine we can put out there."

Washington still hasn't announced his starters for Game 3 or 4. Right-hander Colby Lewis will likely pitch Game 3 with Matt Harrison right behind him, but the Rangers haven't made a final decision. They have decided to move Ogando into the bullpen.

"We only can use four guys, and he's been a stalwart in our bullpen before," Washington said. "We still consider him a starter, of course. So him making that transition is good for us and it gives us another power arm down there."

Ogando was 13-8 with a 3.51 ERA in 29 starts and two relief appearances. But he was 4-5 with a 4.48 ERA after the All-Star break. He was used strictly as a reliever last season and went 4-1 with a 1.30 ERA in 44 appearances.