Alexi Ogando still prefers to start

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers reliever Alexi Ogando said Saturday that he'd still prefer to start, but that he hasn't heard anything from the club about his future role.

Pitching coach Mike Maddux said the club would sit down soon and map out what players would be doing this offseason. One of those decisions is whether Ogando is stretched out as a starter heading into spring training.

"My wish is to be a starter, but they haven’t mentioned that at all," Ogando said through an interpreter. "I’m going to go into the offseason and get ready to pitch and whatever they decide, they decide."

Ogando, one of the players who was cleaning out his locker Saturday morning, admitted that he was still processing the idea that the Rangers weren't going to play anymore games in 2012.

"This is a very difficult season to explain," Ogando said. "Being in first place all year and then ending the way that we did is hard to explain and hard to swallow. We have to move forward and keep trying. Overall, (it's) very disappointing."

Ogando was a starter for much of 2011 and made the All-Star team after going 9-3 with a 2.92 ERA in the first half of that season. He hit a wall later in the year and was moved to the bullpen, becoming a valuable and versatile weapon. Ogando appeared to run out of gas a second time in the postseason as he struggled in the World Series.

Ogando turned 29 on Friday and has a fastball with plenty of life and a productive slider. He's been using his changeup more, a pitch that he'll need to continue to develop if he wants to be a starter. With Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz unlikely to be fully recovered until midseason in 2013, it could make sense to stretch him out as another internal option. But much of that may depend on how the club approaches the offseason.