Ross Ohlendorf has a mild groin strain, according to T.R. Sullivan, and as a result has been shut down from throwing.
The 32 year old Ohlendorf has had an impressive spring and had been viewed as the favorite to win the long man job, but he has been dogged by a groin problem for the past week-plus, and according to Sullivan, he is no longer an option for the Opening Day roster.
This throws yet another wrinkle into a bullpen that is in flux. Neftali Feliz and Tanner Scheppers are locks for the bullpen, Keone Kela appears to have won a spot, and Shawn Tolleson will be on the roster if he is healthy, but the other spots are all up in the air. Former outfielder turned Indy League pitcher turned 2014 minor league sensation Jon Edwards has had a strong camp, and is getting to throw two innings today to give the Rangers the opportunity to evaluate him as a possible long man option.
Phil Klein and Roman Mendez are also still in the mix for bullpen jobs, and Alex Claudio is the only lefthanded bullpen option left standing. The Rangers have previously talked to the Marlins about Brad Hand, a lefthanded starter last year who is out of options and who may not make the 25 man roster. Hand, or another player squeezed out of a roster spot with another team, could end up being acquired and filling the last spot in the bullpen.
Another possibility would be one of the candidates for the fifth starter spot starting the year in the bullpen. Nick Tepesch, for example, may be a better fit as a multi-inning reliever than a starter, given his history of issues getting batters out the third time through the order.
UPDATE -- Jeff Wilson tweets updates on Ohlendorf and Tolleson:
Ross Ohlendorf (groin) won't be ready for Opening Day. Will start year at Triple A, but #Rangers expect him in majors in 2015.— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) March 28, 2015
Shawn Tolleson (forearm) says he's tentatively scheduled to pitch Sunday vs. Dodgers. Also believes he can ready for Opening Day.— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) March 28, 2015