Blog Entry

Feliz tries to make Rangers' decision easier

Posted on: March 7, 2011 4:55 pm
 
By Matt Snyder

Reigning Rookie of the Year Neftali Feliz would rather be a closer than a starter, if the choice was left up to him.
"I'm comfortable there and I've done it before at this level and I know what it takes," Feliz said with Julio Borbon acting as an interpreter. "What I went through last year made me feel more comfortable with the role. I experienced it at a very high level. But if I start, I'll get myself into a routine and get comfortable with it again. If I start, I'm not going to hold back or not go at it all the way. I'm going to do what I do."
(via Dallas Morning News )

He reportedly told Rangers president Nolan Ryan that sentiment Sunday.

The situation should make decisions easier for the Rangers in spring training, but creates a bit of a quandry.

First of all, many front office types would much rather have a stud pitcher with an arm like Feliz's in the rotation. Most sabermatricians agree. It's simple mathematics, since you're talking about getting 200-plus innings from a starter versus about 70 from a closer. So maybe the Rangers still want him in the rotation and will try to convince him a move is best for the team.

On the other hand, the Rangers have a logjam of starters competing for the rotation spots. I outlined the possible options and who could factor in last week, but a C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Brandon Webb, Michael Kirkman and Derek Holland rotation come August could actually be quite stout -- and that leaves Matt Harrison and Tommy Hunter in the cold. So you can easily argue Feliz at closer -- even if for the short-term -- does the most for the team.

Putting the innings-pitched argument aside, having a lock-down closer is quite the luxury for managers. Just ask Joe Torre, who never tried to move Mariano Rivera from the back-end of his 'pen to the rotation.

Feliz has the potential to be the best closer in baseball. He saved 40 games last season, racking up 71 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings with a 2.73 ERA and sparkling 0.88 WHIP. He can hit triple digits on the radar gun and is still only 22.

Considering all the circumstances at hand, the Rangers should probably just keep him in the bullpen for at least this season. I expect an announcement along those lines will be coming quite soon.

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Comments

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2011 3:47 am
 

Feliz tries to make Rangers' decision easier

They should let him catch and DH as well...just kidding. Making him a starter is more stressful than closing. If you doubt my words then ask Justin "Don't Calle Me Dookie" Duchscherer. He was a stud relief pitcher with the A's but after getting his "dream job" of being a starting pitcher the dude broke down physically, emotionally and mentally. He is less reliable than Rich Harden. At least Harden had maladies that were common. Poor Justin was afflicted with the strangest injuries and it took forever for them to  heal. Good luck to the Chumps...I mean Orioles from Baltimore in signing him.



Since: Jan 30, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2011 6:37 pm
 

Feliz tries to make Rangers' decision easier

"Quandary" has two A's


skidog23
Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2011 5:18 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Nov 19, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2011 11:00 am
 

Feliz tries to make Rangers' decision easier

Correction..Rivera only NEEDS 1 pitch! And I am a Rays and Mets fan so you know how I feel about the Yankees in general!



Since: Apr 28, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2011 9:09 am
 

Feliz tries to make Rangers' decision easier

Always been of the opinion that when you have one position solved, you keep it solved. You work to solve the others through other means. That said, there are examples where it has worked. Zack Greinke - upon his return from la-la land - went to the bullpen, got extremely good just like they had always hoped but never seen, then moved back to starting and finally became the player they drafted. Despite that example, however, I would keep an awesome player in the position where he is awesome, rather than plugging him somewhere and hoping it stops a different gap.



Since: Feb 11, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2011 6:49 am
 

Feliz tries to make Rangers' decision easier

Why would the writer of this article compare Feliz' situation to that of Mariano Rivera? Rivera only has one pitch.




Rivera only has throws one pitch.... there fixed it for you...

Anyone who has payed attention since 95' knows that Rivera has more than just a cutter, he didn't develop his cutter until a few years into his major league career... It's just players cannot really hit his cutter, even when they know it's coming, on almost every pitch...




Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2011 6:47 am
 

Feliz tries to make Rangers' decision easier

Interesting that the article did not mention a thing about Scott Feldman being in the rotation. You may remember the Rangers gave him a nice deal after he went 17-8 in 2009...last year he was so bad, he was relegated to the bullpen. As for Neftali Feliz, just keep him where he is...he's comfortable, and he's a very good closer. He's only 22 and he coud be a great closer. Why put him in the starting rotation when the Rangers have C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Brandon Webb plus Michael Kirkman and Derek Holland. So, back to Feldman, where's he going to fit in when he returns sometime in April??

There's plenty of starters...so who would be the closer? Alexi Ogando? He's not ready for pressure packed situations...but what do we know? We're just fans...let's see what the braintrust comes up with.



Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2011 3:52 am
 

Feliz tries to make Rangers' decision easier

Why would the writer of this article compare Feliz' situation to that of Mariano Rivera? Rivera only has one pitch.




Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2011 8:16 pm
 

Feliz tries to make Rangers' decision easier

The funny thing about that trade is most people thought the best player Texas was getting in that deal was Saltamacchia



Since: Jan 28, 2008
Posted on: March 7, 2011 7:54 pm
 

Feliz tries to make Rangers' decision easier

i think that if the rangers are to be successful in converting feliz to a starter, they have to be patient. someone who thows 20 pitches in an inning shouldn't be expected to pitch 5,6,or 7 innings right away. in spring traing, feliz should be pitching 2 or 3 innings each appearance, no matter the outcome. he needs durability in his arm or else he will fall apart. ogando is a suitable replacement to close games.


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