Tue, 11 Mar 2014 15:37:13 -0700
Texas Rangers RP Neftali Feliz pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close out the game Monday, March 10, but he made it interesting. His ERA is at 4.50 and opponents are hitting .333 off him, and he has yet to reclaim the closer's role. Manager Ron Washington continues to stress that the ninth-inning job is up for grabs, and the team could commit to a committee, if necessary. RPs Joakim Soria and Tanner Scheppers are also competing for the job. Scheppers is also competing for a spot in the rotation.
"He's worked out his mechanics but we'd like to see his velocity get better," Washington said. "It doesn't have to be 98-99 but we'd like to see it get better and sustain it. His mechanics are better and he's using all his pitches. I believe his velocity will spike. He is a power pitcher, not a finesse pitcher." Feliz hit 94 mph twice Monday. Both Feliz and Soria are coming back from Tommy John surgery, but Soria is further along than Feliz.
Fantasy Tip: With Scheppers trying for a rotation gig, a committee approach with Feliz and Soria is very possible. Both closers should be owned, even in deep mixed leagues. Feliz remains the favorite, but Texas probably wouldn't mind to take a load off his shoulders, at least until his velocity gets to where they want it.
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 14:01:21 -0800
Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said the team's closer competition remains wide open between RPs Neftali Feliz, Joakim Soria and Tanner Scheppers. Soria retired all three batters he faced in 10 pitches Thursday, March 6, and Feliz retired all three hitters he faced on 16 pitches. Feliz's fastball touched 93 mph and his changeup hit 85 mph. "I wish all of sudden he could come into spring training and all of a sudden you see 95 (mph) or 97 but he'll work his way to that if it's still in him," Washington said. "But right now, I just want him to stay healthy and if he stays healthy, he'll be where he needs to be."
Fantasy Tip: Remember, Feliz is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, so it's a work in progress with his velocity and command. However, all reports so far have been positive. Unless he suffers a setback, we expect him to open the season as the closer.
Sun, 02 Mar 2014 01:11:07 -0800
Although Texas Rangers RP Neftali Feliz and RP Joakim Soria are competing for the closer job in spring camp, Feliz has not looked impressive so far. Sources have indicated his mechanics are still kind of out of whack and he is not getting his arm extended enough to max out the velocity.
Fantasy Tip: It is too soon to give up on Feliz, but you may want to push him down your draft board for now unless he figures out a way to fix those mechanics.
Sat, 22 Feb 2014 21:15:25 -0800
Texas Rangers RP Joakim Soria is off to the quickest start of the three candidates for the closer's role. He is working against Ps Neftali Feliz and Tanner Scheppers. "He's such a professional," manager Ron Washington said Saturday, Feb. 22. "His arm looks much more free and his velocity has picked up. He was never a power pitcher, but he could locate and throw breaking balls."
Sun, 02 Feb 2014 12:57:35 -0800
Texas Rangers RP Neftali Feliz remains the front-runner to be the team's closer, ahead of RPs Joakim Soria and Tanner Scheppers. During the offseason, Feliz worked with scout Mike Anderson in the Dominican Republic on some mechanical adjustments and tightening up his repertoire. In 10 appearances for Toros del Este of the Dominican Winter League, he posted a 2.79 ERA over 9 2/3 innings, with only two walks and 11 strikeouts. Feliz said he felt better during the latter portion of his time playing winter ball and at one point was clocked at 98 mph on the second day of back-to-back outings. At the end of the 2013 season, he was regularly throwing in the low 90s.
Sun, 29 Dec 2013 11:43:10 -0800
Texas Rangers RP Neftali Feliz appears to be the front-runner to fill the closer's role as a result of the departure of Joe Nathan, although RPs Joakim Soria and Tanner Scheppers could also see save opportunities.
Mon, 09 Dec 2013 19:10:09 -0800
The Texas Rangers are still looking for help in the bullpen despite having RPs Neftali Feliz, Tanner Scheppers and Joakim Soria.
Tue, 03 Dec 2013 12:14:09 -0800
Texas Rangers RP Neftali Feliz made his fourth relief appearance in 10 days Friday, Nov. 29, in the Dominican Republic Winter League. He's in the final stages of his rehab from Tommy John surgery and will be competing with RPs Tanner Scheppers and Joakim Soria for the closer role next year. Feliz pitched 15 1/3 innings from rookie ball to the big leagues last season. He struck out three of the 10 hitters he faced in his first three winter ball outings and allowed only one hit while topping out at 95-97 mph. "Health-wise, he's probably 95 percent with his delivery and all of that," pitching coach Gary Ruby said. "He's thrown very hard, and the changeup has been way above average. The breaking ball needs some work, but he's really close." Feliz is receiving two days of rest after each appearance.
Fantasy Tip: Feliz has plenty of time to get to 100 percent health. If he doesn't suffer any setbacks between now and spring training, he should be considered the favorite to take the ninth-inning duties over Soria or Scheppers.
Sun, 03 Nov 2013 10:36:09 -0800
Texas Rangers RPs Joakim Soria, Neftali Feliz and Tanner Scheppers are expected to be candidates for the closer job next season. SP Alexi Ogando could also be an option if the team adds another starting pitcher.
Fri, 01 Nov 2013 14:18:14 -0700
Texas Rangers RP Joe Nathan voided his contract option for the 2014 season Friday, Nov. 1, making him a free agent. The Rangers picked up their side of the option.
Fantasy Tip: The Rangers could re-sign Nathan, but that's unlikely since he's looking for a multi-year deal and the club has plenty of other holes to fill. Look for either Joakim Soria or Tanner Scheppers to enter the season as the closer in Texas.