The oft-injured Neftali Feliz pitched 53.2 innings in 2016 (his highest total since 2011) before a muscular arm injury shut him down. He made just one appearance in September and limped to a 5.02 ERA and 1.84 WHIP in his final 15 games, but proved serviceable for the first four months of the season. Overall, the 28-year-old registered a 3.52 ERA (3.72 xFIP) and a 10.2 K/9. He struggled with the home run (19.2 HR/FB) but otherwise showed promise following a disastrous 2015. Feliz collected a career-high 30 holds last year, and he appears to be in line to be the closer for Milwaukee heading into the season, but his weak finish and arm injury make him risky entering 2017.
Feliz allowed four runs on three hits and a walk, including a game-winning, three-run home run to blow his first save of the season during Wednesday's loss to Chicago. Entering Wednesday's game, Feliz had allowed just a single run, two hits and two walks over 5.2 innings, so it would be ill-advised to overreact to a rough outing against the heart of the Chicago order. Remember, he did close them out for his fifth save on Monday. With Feliz's fastball clocking into the high-90s and his otherwise strong form, there's a good chance this outing was a blip on the radar and not a sign of things to come.
Feliz worked around a hit and a walk with one strikeout in a scoreless inning to record his fifth save of the season Monday against the Cubs. Feliz allowed a single and a walk before recording an out, but he proceeded to induce a double-play grounder before striking out Kyle Schwarber to end the game. This was the first bit of trouble Feliz has really encountered this season, but he showed the ability to battle back, adding to his stock as one of the more productive fantasy closers through the early portion of the season.
Feliz struck out a pair in a perfect inning of work to record his fourth save of the season Sunday against the Reds. Feliz was all business after entering with a two-run lead, retiring the side in order and battling to strike out the final two men he faced. It has been a long journey for Feliz to regain the form that once made him a dominant closer, but he has looked like a former All-Star in the early stages while posting a 1.93 ERA and going 4-for-4 in save opportunities.
Feliz picked up a save against the Blue Jays for the second straight day Wednesday, working around a walk in a scoreless ninth inning. He failed to strike out a batter for the first time in five appearances, but Feliz still recorded his third save in as many tries. Those who took a shot on him in this year's drafts -- typically at a noticeable discount from the upper tier of closers -- have to be pleased with their purchase.
Feliz pitched a spotless ninth inning with a strikeout Tuesday in Toronto for his second save. Feliz hasn't seen a lot of work in the early going, as he's tossed just 2.2 innings over four appearances. The Brewers aren't a very good team, but even poor squads can produce plenty of save opportunities, and Feliz has no serious challenger among his mates in the bullpen. Having found himself again in Pittsburgh last year, Feliz should be expected to put up respectable fantasy stats as Milwaukee's closer.
|@ MILLER PARK||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|