Ogando’s All-Star chances look strong

Alexi Ogando appears to be in a strong position to be added to the American League All-Star Game by some point either Sunday or Monday.

Why?

Because the American League pitching staff could take a big hit on Sunday. Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez and James Shields – three members of the A.L. All-Star team – are all supposed to pitch that day. If they do, that automatically removes them from being able to pitch in the All-Star Game.

So who replaces them?

Well, the players have already voted five starters onto the All-Star team: Verlander, Hernandez, Shields, Josh Beckett and Jered Weaver. If any pitcher drops out, he will be automatically be replaced by the next highest vote-getter. But the American League may be going deep into that list.

That list remains secret but here are three factors that suggest Ogando could be one of the guys called upon to replace somebody.

1. In addition to the five starters voted on by the players, Manager Ron Washington added C.J. Wilson, David Price and Gio Gonzalez

2. Jon Lester is on the disabled list.

3. Also scheduled to pitch Sunday are C.C. Sabathia, Trevor Cahill and Dan Haren.

All of that could force the A.L. to go deep into their list of pitchers.

One caveat: If there are rainouts on Sunday, that could change things. But right now Ogando appears in good shape to be a replacement All-Star.

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