Neftail Feliz has been a sensation as the Rangers' closer, slamming the door shut 37 times on the year with a 2.95 ERA.
At just 22, the future is bright for the fireballer, who has a 9.3 K.9 ratio against a scant 2.4 walks per nine. Despite Feliz' success in closing, the Rangers are rightfully open to returning Feliz to the rotation, from whence he came.
A report by Jeff Fletcher of AOL Fanhouse says GM Jon Daniels hasn't closed the door on Feliz starting. Although all his major-league experience comes out of the bullpen, 53 of his career 79 games in the minors are as a starter. He posted a 2.67 ERA in 29 starts for Double-A in 2008 split between mid-Class A and Double-A.
In 2009, Feliz made 13 starts for Triple-A, while appearing in an additional 12 out of the bullpen. He notched a 3.49 ERA before being called up to the majors for good. Possessing a wicked fastball, he pairs it with an effective curve and a solid changeup. Having at least three pitches is crucial for survival in the rotation, so Feliz has that going for him.
What he doesn't is a listed height of 6 feet, 3 inches and weight of 190 pounds. Teams are very leery of slender pitchers holding up long-term in the rotation with Pedro Martinez' success the exception, not the norm.
-- Evan Brunell
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