Well, that was something.
Alexi Ogando and Michael Pineda opposed one another on Tuesday in Arlington, each making his MLB starting debut, and they were both excellent. The 27-year-old Ogando earned the win, limiting Seattle to two hits and no runs over six innings, striking out four and walking two. He reportedly developed a small blister on his index finger in the sixth, but remained on the mound following a trainer's visit. Pineda, 22, punched out two batters in his first inning of work (Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton), holding Texas to two hits through five frames before encountering trouble in the sixth (3 H, 2 R). Highlights here.
All things considered, impressive performances on both sides. The degree-of-difficulty wasn't nearly as severe for Ogando, of course, as he was facing a Mariners lineup that finished dead-last in runs scored a season ago. Pineda's performance against the scorching-hot Rangers was a treat; he coaxed a few awful swings at pitches that broke sharply out of the zone.
If there were ever any doubts, it should now be clear that these two are going to be awfully fun to watch, and useful to own for fantasy purposes. Both pitchers should pile up Ks and both are in line for two starts next week. Ogando is available in 90 percent of Yahoo! leagues at the moment, and Pineda is unowned in 68 percent. They're prepared to assist in fantasy spot-start duty.
The season-long worry, in each case, will be workload. The Rangers' original plan for Ogando was to bump him back to the bullpen whenever Tommy Hunter (groin) returns, although he clearly has the potential to force his way into the rotation. Pineda's innings will surely be limited by the Ms this year, as he has elbow issues in the past and he totaled 139.1 IP across two minor league levels in 2010.
So: Use these kids early and often, before curfew. The preliminary returns are promising.
Photo via US Presswire