Railroaders Add Former MLB Reliever
CLEBURNE, Texas - The Cleburne Railroaders announced Friday the signing of right-handed pitcher Nefi Ogando.
Ogando played parts of two seasons in the Major Leagues, first with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2015 and then with the Miami Marlins in 2016. In 18 career MLB appearances, all in relief, the righty owns a 3.66 ERA with no won-loss record. Ogando struck out 10 in 19.2 innings, allowing 17 hits and 10 walks.
"Any time you can add a guy with Nefi's pedigree, it's huge," manager Brent Clevlen said. "He has experience working as a closer, and definitely has the stuff to get those really important outs late in a ballgame. We're very excited about the arms and the velocity we've got stockpiled at the back-end of the bullpen."
A native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Ogando began his professional career as a 21-year old in the Boston Red Sox organization, climbing the organizational ladder over the course of four seasons to eventually reach High-A Salem in 2013. He latched on with the Phillies organization in 2014 and was originally assigned to Double-A Reading. The 6'0, 230-pounder put together his best season as a professional the following year, posting an identical 2.86 ERA at both Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. That performance earned Ogando a September call-up, and the right-hander made his Major League debut on September 9, 2015. His first MLB strikeout victim was outfielder Todd Cunningham, who was named an American Association All-Star with the Kansas City T-Bones last season.
The Miami Marlins claimed Ogando off waivers after the 2015 season, giving the 29-year old his longest stint in the Majors. Ogando pitched well with the Marlins, recording a 2.30 ERA in 14 appearances, but injuries derailed his season and he was designated for assignment in mid-December. The Pittsburgh Pirates claimed Ogando off waivers later that week, but released him at the outset of Spring Training. His final appearance in the affiliated ranks came in 2017, as Ogando split the year between three different levels of the Cincinnati Reds system, allowing four runs in 9.1 innings of work.
Most recently, Ogando has been pitching in his native Dominican Republic with Aguilas, making 13 appearances out of the bullpen over the past two seasons. For his career, Ogando owns a 21-25 record with a 3.73 ERA and 21 saves. He has made 301 professional appearances, all but 10 of which have come as a reliever. In 451.2 innings, Ogando has allowed 428 hits, piling up 361 strikeouts to 223 walks.
Ogando's signing gives the Railroaders a total of 15 players under contract for the 2019 season.
The 3rd season of Railroaders baseball and the club's pursuit of its first division title kicks off with a four-game home series against the Sioux Falls Canaries, beginning on Thursday, May 16. For information on partnerships, season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Railroaders main office at (817) 945-8705, or visit the Railroaders official website at www.railroaderbaseball.com.
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