Tag:NEftali Feliz
Posted on: November 24, 2010 1:50 pm
Edited on: November 24, 2010 1:50 pm

Guerrero wins DH award

Vladimir Guerrero
Tack on one more postseason honor for the Rangers, as Vladimir Guerrero was named recipient of the Edgar Martinez Award, given to the game's top designated hitter.

Signed by Texas as a free agent prior to the season, Guerrero put up a .300/.345/.496 line at the plate, with 115 RBI and 29 homers. David Ortiz and Jim Thome finished second and third in voting by baseball writers and public relations officials.

The American League champion Rangers have done well in awards season, with Josh Hamilton picking up the MVP and Neftali Feliz being named rookie of the year.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: November 18, 2010 9:42 am
Edited on: November 18, 2010 10:03 am

Thursday morning rumor roundup

The owners meetings and GM meetings overlap today in Orlando, so we might see some deals happen. Here's a sampling of the chatter as the day gets under way:

* Carl Crawford would be the Yankees' Plan B if they don't sign Cliff Lee, and CC Sabathia would again be their recruiter. (Newsday)

* The Rockies want a versatile right-handed bat, with Ty Wigginton and Jorge Cantu possibilities. (SI.com)

* Joel Sherman of the New York Post offers an endorsement, albeit tepid, for Bob Melvin as Mets manager. (New York Post)

* The Red Sox are making a push for Justin Upton, with the Diamondbacks likely to request Jacoby Ellsbury and Daniel Bard as the heart of the return package. (SI.com)

* AL Rookie of the Year Neftali Feliz has heard the rumors about being moved to the rotation if the Rangers lose Lee, but hasn't been told anything by the team. (Hoy -- link in Spanish)

* The Yankees want Derek Jeter to sign for three years at $63 million, but Jeter is looking for as many as five or six years. (ESPNNewYork.com)

* The Marlins have been busy, but they're not done, with Larry Beinfest saying he'd like to add a starting pitcher. (Palm Beach Post)

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: November 16, 2010 1:13 pm

Not much chance D-Backs move Upton

Justin Upton
Baseball circles have been buzzing about the apparent sudden availability of Diamondbacks outfielder Juston Upton on the trade market, and it's a good case study in how non-stories become something they're not in the modern age.

It started with a USA Today GM meetings setup story in which Bob Nightengale talked with Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers about the outlook for the meetings. Towers said this:

"I'm open to listening on anybody. We got more hits on Upton and [Stephen] Drew. They're difficult to move, but sometimes to make your club better, you have to move good players. You never know when a deal might present itself.''

Somehow, this turned into "OMG! The D-Backs are trying to trade Upton!" Well, no they're not. That was Towers saying, "Look, this team stinks, and I'm not going to shut any doors as I'm trying to make it better." That's the position of any decent GM of a last-place team.

Is Upton available? Yeah, in the same way that everyone is theoretically "available." If the Rangers offer to send the Giants Josh Hamilton, Neftali Feliz, their top five prospects and enough cash to cover all of their contracts, sure, Buster Posey is "available."

Upton is one of the best young players in baseball, and is dirt cheap. He's a franchise cornerstone for the Diamondbacks to build on. They're not shopping him, but Towers is saying he's open to being blown away. Asked by Jon Heyman of SI.com what it would take to pry Upton from Arizona, one Diamondbacks official said "everything."

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: November 15, 2010 2:22 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:36 am

Feliz, Posey win Rookie honors

Buster Posey Rangers closer Neftali Feliz and Giants catcher Buster Posey are your Rookies of the Year. No surprise, really.

The only question about today's results was which deserving National League rookie would win. Buster Posey ended up winning, taking the award over Atlanta's Jason Heyward.

While I would have voted for Heyward, I have zero problem with Posey winning. Both were incredible. What strikes me as interesting is the voting results, as Posey won comfortably, getting 20 of the 32 first-place votes and finishing with a total of 129 points. Heyward got nine first-place votes and 107 total points. I honestly thought it would be closer.

Three voters didn't vote for either, one voter went with Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia, while two voted for Gaby Sanchez.

The American League spread was about the same, as the National League. Feliz received 20 first-place votes and finished with 122 points. Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson finished second, with eight first-place votes and 98 total points. Twins third baseman Danny Valencia was third.

Pedro Feliz The difference, as discussed last week, was the caliber of candidates in both leagues. Feliz had a good year, but he's a closer, and that's a different role. Just for the record, let's look at the stats from the American League Rookie of the Year:

69 1/3 IP, 43 H, 21 R, 21 ER, 18 BB, 71 K, 2.73 ERA, .880 WHIP

Not bad numbers. Now let's look at a rookie in the National League who didn't garner a single vote.

68 IP, 56 H, 25 R, 22 ER, 17 BB, 92 K, 2.91 ERA, 1.074 WHIP

How about that? How did that guy not even get considered for the National League Rookie of the Year?

That's because he got hurt -- and he was a starter.

Stephen Strasburg made just 12 starts, but still pitched nearly as many innings as Feliz, who was the Rangers' closer. He didn't have 40 saves.

That said, Feliz definitely deserved the award.

The voting:
National League (points)
Buster Posey 129
Jason Heyward 107
Jaime Garcia 24
Gaby Sanchez 18
Neil Walker 3
Starlin Castro 3
Ike Davis 2
Jose Tabata 1
Jonny Venters 1

American League
Neftali Feliz 122
Austin Jackson 98
Danny Valencia 12
Wade Davis 11
John Jaso 3
Brandon Boesch 3
Brian Matusz 3

The National League Cy Young Award will be announced tomorrow.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 8, 2010 2:56 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2010 5:22 pm

MLB Facts and Rumors votes on Rookie of the Year

Feliz With the major baseball awards being announced next week, MLB Facts and Rumors will reveal their choices this week for the awards. Today, Evan, David and Trent name their Rookie of the Year selections. At the end of the article, the overall MLB Facts and Rumors winner will be announced using a points system, with the No. 1 selection receiving three points, down to No. 3 receiving 1.

Both the AL and NL rookie of the year race is generally down to two favorites. The AL has Neftali Feliz, the Rangers' closer doing battle against center fielder Austin Jackson of the Tigers. In the National League, it was a banner year for rookies but the two top candidates are catcher Buster Posey of the World Champion Giants and right fielder Jason Heyward of the Braves.


David Andriesen

1. CL Neftali Feliz, TEX
2. CF Austin Jackson, DET
3. SP Brian Matusz, BAL

Feliz saved 40 games, more than any rookie in history. Of course, rookie closers aren’t exactly commonplace, but that’s impressive. Jackson tailed off a bit late in the season but definitely stands above the other position players.

Evan Brunell
1. CF Austin Jackson, DET
2. CL Neftali Feliz, TEX
3. SP Brian Matusz, BAL

A 22-year-old saving 40 games for a division winner is no small feat. However, as impressive as his season was, I can't give his 269 total batters faced the nod over Jackson's 675 plate appearances of a .745 OPS and top-notch defense.

C. Trent Rosecrans
1. RP Neftali Feliz, TEX
2. SP Brian Matusz, BAL
3. OF Austin Jackson, DET

I wouldn't go far to say "obvious." I think Feliz has the most "obvious" talent, but the save stat -- especially in today's game -- is so overrated I hate for it to be a deciding factor. In fact, I think it's not so much "obviously" Feliz, as Feliz by default. Listen, I'll take Feliz long-term over any of the other AL rookies, but I'm not sure he was as dominant all season as we remember throughout the postseason. That said, I'm still going for Feliz, but by a nose over Matusz, who made 32 starts for the Orioles.


David Andriesen
1. C Buster Posey, SFG
2. RF Jason Heyward, ATL
3. SP Jaime Garcia, STL

What an amazing field of candidates here – half a dozen guys have ROY numbers in a normal year. Posey and Heyward are 1 and 1A for me; I
know I’m not supposed to count postseason, but maybe it tainted my choice. Apologies to Gaby Sanchez, Tyler Colvin and Jonny Venters.

Evan Brunell
1. RF Jason Heyward, ATL
2. C Buster Posey, SF
3. SP Jamie Garcia, STL

If award voting didn't occur until after the postseason, Josh Beckett would have won the 2007 Cy Young Award over CC Sabathia. A similar situation arises today as Buster Posey is certainly the best rookie, postseason included. But the voting is for regular season only, so Jason Heyward rightfully takes the title. To me, the additional time played at a high level is too hard to ignore. Trent nails the Heyward-Posey debate below.

C. Trent Rosecrans
1. RF Jason Heyward, ATL
2. C Buster Posey, SF
3. SP Jaime Garcia, STL

As difficult as it was picking an AL Rookie of the Year, it's even more difficult to pick the National League's winner -- but for the complete opposite reason. This may be remembered as one of the greatest years for rookies in one league in a long, long time. I can't even imagine making the case for which player I would take long-term, Posey or Heyward. Hell, I'll take the second pick and be happy. But the deciding factor for me is something that was out of Posey's hands -- Heyward played 142 games as a rookie and went through the ups and downs. The book was out on him early, and he still played well. Posey finished with as many homers, but Heyward still had a better OPS+, which is impressive considering the number of at-bats. Now, if postseason stats were included, I may change my story, but they're not. Crazy that in the AL, or most other years, Garcia could be considered a shoo-in, but now he's an also-ran.

MLB Facts and Rumors AL Rookie of the Year
Neftali Feliz gets the nod with 8 points to Jackson's 5. Matusz finishes with 4.

MLB Facts and Rumors NL Rookie of the Year
Jason Heyward fends off Posey with 8 points to Posey's seven. Garcia finishes way behind with three.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 1, 2010 11:41 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2010 12:15 am

Feliz to stay closer, but shouldn't long term

Feliz Neftali Feliz has had an extraordinarily successful career thus far.

Granted, Feliz doesn't even have two full seasons under his belt yet, but not very many cobble together a career 2.42 ERA in one season, never mind more than one year.

Making his big-league debut at age 21, Feliz joined Texas on August 3rd and pitched 31 innings down the stretch while capturing everyone's imagination with a 1.74 ERA and 39 whiffs. He was the 2009 version of Aroldis Chapman.

While Feliz came up the minors as a starter, he was transitioned to the bullpen to help Texas quicker. That transition held into 2010, when Feliz eventually won the closer's job and finished with a 2.73 ERA in 60 1/3 innings, saving 40 and punching out 71.

However, even given his success out of the closer's role, the question remained: would Neftali Feliz be transitioned back to a starter? After all, no matter how dominating one can be in 60 innings, being dominant in 200 is a completely different animal.

GM Jon Daniels put that to rest hours before the Rangers' season was ended when the Giants won the World Series.

"Probably the two questions were: Can he close, and can he start?" Daniels told ESPN Dallas . "You knew that somewhere that arm is going to play. I think we've definitively answered one of them. There's no doubt in anybody's mind he can close. We don't know whether he can start and I don't know if we're going to find out. We've talked about it at some point that we might. We're not going to close that door, but we're also not going to speculate on it any more than is necessary. He's our closer. I would expect he'll be our closer."

Does this come as a surprise? Feliz came up looking pretty lanky but has put on muscle lately and if he keeps growing, the 22-year-old could absolutely make a transition from reliever to starter, and that might just be a couple years away. Why have him start in the minors when he can close in the majors and then become a starter?

Texas has experience with converting relievers to starters, with C.J. Wilson the latest example and Kenny Rogers another. Texas shouldn't close the book on transitioning him, especially if his bulking up is as real as it was for Clay Buchholz. Having him close for another year is not a bad idea, but Feliz could eventually be Texas' ace. You don't pigeon-hole them as closers.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 30, 2010 10:05 pm

Feliz sighting!

And here it is, photographic evidence that Ron Washington remembers Neftali Feliz is in fact in his bullpen:

Neftali Feliz

Feliz came in and pitched a perfect ninth, picking up his first postseason save in his first World Series appearance.

Granted, maybe he should've come in for the eighth in the highest-leverage situation, but Darren O'Day did get Buster Posey to end the eighth, so all's well that ends well.

Feliz struck out Pat Burrell (I know, shocker), got Cody Ross to fly out and then blew away Juan Uribe to end the game with a 99 mph fastball. He threw 13 pitches, 10 strikes.

Here were a few of my favorite (non-Chalupa) tweets of the night:

@MikeSilvermanBB : Righetti just told Mota he's embarrassing himself and the entire franchise walk Francoeur

@Ledger_NYMets : Neftali Feliz should change his name to Darren

@JPosnanski : They say the Masters begins on the back nine on Sunday. A Ron Washington managed game begins in the 8th inning.

@aandro : My assessment of why crowd seems quieter tonight. More corporate look. More rhinestudded jerseys means less real fans.

@Kevin_Goldstein : Ron Washington: "Who is this guy? Man I should use him more."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 27, 2010 8:25 pm

Bengie blogs

Bengie Molina
Let's face it, most people's personal blogs are really boring and self-indulgent. But it gets a lot more interesting if it's written by a guy who's playing in the World Series, against his former team.

Bengie Molina has blogged for years, and picked up again in earnest when he was traded from San Francisco to Texas on July 1. He's pretty honest and funny, and it's a good read. Some recent highlights:

* On hitting for the cycle July 17, ending with just the sixth triple of his career: "I saw the fielder jump and I thought he was going to catch it. The ball hit his glove and bounced off into the perfect spot. I said to myself, 'I ain't stoppin' for nothin'! This might be your only chance at this!' ... I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life."

* On his big homer against the Yankees in the ALCS: "When I warmed up the starting pitchers during our games in Yankee Stadium, fans near the bullpen chanted, "Ben-gie's fat! Ben-gie's fat!'' It was kind of funny, of course. They sounded like fourth-graders in the playground. The best part was they chanted in English AND in Spanish to make sure I was absolutely clear about what they were saying. So to drive in the go-ahead runs in front of those fans put a smile on my face."

* On being at the bottom of the dogpile after the Rangers clinched: "I could hardly breathe -- that's a lot of poundage in that pile. ...  I can't move a muscle -- and my face is smashed into [Neftali] Feliz's Afro. That was nasty."

* On seeing his former teammates Tuesday on the field on workout day: "All the Giants were walking in a line out to an area beyond right field where they were going to be interviewed by the media. Every guy stopped to hug me and tell me how great it was see me and could I believe how it all worked out. It was such a great feeling."

Apparently the Bay Area love for Molina extends beyond the clubhouse. He got a big cheer from the crowd when he was introduced as part of the Texas lineup before Game 1, and tapped his chest in response.

-- David Andriesen

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com