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Alexi Ogando Added As American League All-Star

Alexi Ogando is an All-Star after all. A June fade that included his only three outings of the season less than six innings long appeared to cost him a birth in his first full season in the major leagues, but Ogando rebounded with two strong April starts and saw Justin Verlander and C.C. Sabathia become ineligible by pitching on Sunday.

Ogando has been a revelation for the Rangers this season. Pitching as a true starter for the first time since arriving back in the U.S., he’s thrown 104.2 innings and allowed 83 hits and 23 walks while striking out 78. The nine home runs he’s allowed represent the only thing even approaching a weakness in his game. His 2.92 ERA led Rangers starters and is ninth in the AL. He and fellow all-star C.J. Wilson lead Texas with nine wins.

Ogando adds a unique element to the AL team because he has spent most of his pitching career as a reliever. Last season in his MLB debut he threw 41.2 innings out of the pen in 2010 with a 1.30 ERA.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.