Blog Entry

Feliz to work as a starter in spring

Posted on: January 23, 2011 12:39 pm
Neftali Feliz The Rangers lost out on Cliff Lee, but could be looking to add to their rotation from within -- looking at American League Rookie of the Year Neftali Feliz to fill a spot in the rotation.

Or, at least they'll give him a look as a starter during spring training, Rangers manager Ron Washington tells the Boston Globe 's Nick Cafardo .

"As of right now, we're going to bring [Feliz] into camp and give him the opportunity to stretch himself out," Washington said. "And if he shows us he's better fitted with our ball club to start, then we'll go in that direction.

"If not, we know he can close ballgames and we're very happy with that."

If Feliz joins the rotation, the team would move Derek Holland back to the bullpen and either Frank Francisco or Alexi Ogando would close.

Team president Nolan Ryan said he doesn't know what will happen with Feliz.

"See how he handles it and see how his breaking ball and his changeup are, and then we'll make a decision" Ryan said at the team's Fan Fest on Saturday (via the Dallas Morning News ). "We're looking at that. Do I think it will happen this year? I don't know if it will or it won't. But it's something that we're going to look at. We think with his body type and the way he throws, as free and easy as he does, that he has the potential to be a very good major league starter. I can't tell you if it's going to happen this year."

Feliz, for his part, said he's open to whatever the team wants.

"If they ask me to be a starter, I'll be a starter," he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram . "If they want me to stay a closer, I'll stay a closer. I really had fun [last] year as a closer."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2011 6:28 pm

Feliz to work as a starter in spring

dominant closer > 3 or 4 starter with innings restrictions....

Since: Aug 31, 2007
Posted on: January 24, 2011 5:43 pm

Feliz to work as a starter in spring

The Rangers will handle Feliz better than Joba incident (hopefully). The Yanks couldn't decide what to do with Joba, so they jacked him around until he didn't know which way was up.....and he is still confused, too.

Since: Apr 5, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2011 1:13 pm

Feliz to work as a starter in spring

Texas better hope Feliz handles moving from the pen to the rotation without ruining what he already has. When Joba Chamberlain first came up with the Yankees he was lights out in the bullpen then then started moving him around from starting to relieving and now he is just about useless. He had a great year closing games and pitchers like that are hard to find, leave him as the closer and let Holland show what he has as a starter.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2011 10:20 pm

Feliz to work as a starter in spring

Nolan Ryan may be the co-owner, but making the lights out closer a SP isn`t the right call. Sure CJ Wilson did well, but it`s not like he was the best closer. A weaker bullpen that will be called on plenty...sorry Nolan the rotation is weak. This move is almost as bad as trading for fat Vernon Wells contract...almost. Maybe the Ranger$ will outscore everyone in the lousy AL West.

Since: May 5, 2009
Posted on: January 23, 2011 8:21 pm

Feliz to work as a starter in spring

So why didn't they sign Soriano? Their bullpen isn't very strong Francisco couldn't close last year and you can't trust Ogando. Unless they have somebody ready to come out of the minors like Tanner I would be a little concerned.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: January 23, 2011 8:10 pm

Feliz to work as a starter in spring

He looks a bit like Pedro Martinez in that picture. I wonder if he will have a similar distinguished career. Best of luck to the Rangers in shoring up their mediocre pitching.

Since: Oct 24, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2011 6:12 pm

Feliz to work as a starter in spring

Feliz was supposed to be a starter all along.  He was a starter in the minors and when they brought him in during the 2009 season they brought him in to get exposure to the pros and then they were going to make him a starter during the 2010 season.  They decided not to do that and instead use him in the bullpen one more year.

Since: Jun 18, 2008
Posted on: January 23, 2011 4:03 pm

Feliz to work as a starter in spring

My first instinct was to say "no way", but you have to give him a shot. It worked for Cj so far & if Feliz can show results like that or better...why not? Besides, I don't think he'd be happy without being given a shot & a unhappy pitcher isn't gonna give ya his best. Yes, I would hate to blow a hole in the end of the bullpen, but hopefully someone will step it up.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2011 2:46 pm

Feliz to work as a starter in spring

I think you have to give this guy a shot in the rotation. I agree with the earlier post that said it is easier to find a closer than it is an impact starter with this guys stuff. The Angels and A's both have better rotations than Texas even if Lewis and Wilson prove not to be flashes in the pan. They won't be able to run away with the division again this year so I think you have to give Feliz a shot to start, he has ace stuff.

Since: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2011 2:36 pm

Feliz to work as a starter in spring

I see your point, mavsfan, and can't say I totally disagree. 

However, finding a good SP is much more difficult than finding a good CL.  Ogando looks like he may be able to fill the CL role quite handily.  Like Nolan said, let's see if Nefatli has developed/improved his secondary pitches and see what happens.  If he has, he could be just as dynamite as a SP, which is much more needed to compete for the playoffs and in the playoffs.

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