SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers' brass is meeting after today's game to try to come closer to some decisions, including who the fifth starter is with Tommy Hunter headed to the disabled list. Rangers manager Ron Washington was asked to name the candidates for the fifth spot in the rotation and here's the list he gave:
Washington believes Brett Tomko is more of a long relief option, but admits that's his opinion and may not be the opinion of the rest of the Rangers' brain trust. Eric Hurley is a name that hasn't been mentioned the past few days.
"He's part of our depth," Washington said. "I think you have to think about it."
Hurley is likely a longer shot than some of the other names based on the fact that he hasn't pitched in two years (shoulder surgery in 2009, three separate wrist surgeries in 2010). But he's had a good spring -- one run allowed in nine innings in Cactus League play -- and is scheduled to be in the rotation in Triple-A Round Rock.
Kirkman was assigned to minor-league camp hours before Tommy Hunter strained his groin. He gave up seven earned runs in 11 1/3 Cactus League innings and continues to get his work in to be one of the leaders of the Round Rock rotation. If the club goes with Kirkman, it would give them four lefties in the rotation. That's something that doesn't concern Washington.
"The only priority is the guy we think can get the outs," Washington said.
Don't underestimate Ogando's chances at getting that spot, either. There are those in the organization who would like to see it happen. He's got a full repertoire of pitches. He'd take his lumps, but has potential there. The issue, like it was with Neftali Feliz, is do you take him out of the bullpen with the way the bullpen has performed this spring?
Stay tuned. They should make a call on that spot in the next few days so they can make sure whoever that is gets one more extended outing.