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March 28, 2012

Alexi Ogando knows he's headed to Rangers' bullpen

Right-hander Alexi Ogando threw 90 pitches Wednesday afternoon against the Dodgers' Triple A team, and afterward said the he knows that he's likely going to open the season in the Rangers' bullpen.

Ogando would rather start, but he said he will do whatever is asked of him. He is likely to fill a role similar to the one he held down in the postseason last year, when he was a dominant multi-inning reliever in the first two rounds. He struggled some in the World Series.

"I wasn't anticipating it [during the off-season], but now that I've come to camp, I know what they want me to do," Ogando said. "Whatever they want me to do, I'm a team player."

Manager Ron Washington said that the Rangers will likely set their rotation Thursday or Friday depending on how Neftali Feliz feels after his bullpen session Thursday. The right-hander, who has been dealing with shoulder tightness, threw 68 pitches over four innings Tuesday night in a minor-league game and said his arm feels better.

There initially was some concern that he might not be well after his first two innings, but after a visit with pitching coach Mike Maddux between innings, Feliz returned to the mound with much more purpose and velocity.

Colby Lewis will likely be the Opening Day starter. He said that he was told before spring camp to prepare for that role. Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Yu Darvish and Feliz are expected to follow.

-- Jeff Wilson

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