With the rosters set to expand September 1, the Rangers are about to get some pretty solid reinforcements. Former All-Stars Neftali Feliz and Lance Berkman are going to be activated, manager Ron Washington told reporters (star-telegram.com).
The addition of Feliz is particularly intriguing to me. He was one of the better closers in baseball in 2010 and 2011, racking up 72 saves with a 2.73 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. He's been his old self during his minor-league rehab stint, with 7 2/3 shutout innings, nine strikeouts and a 0.91 WHIP.
The Rangers already have a stellar bullpen, with Joe Nathan serving as closer, but adding a potentially dominant arm to the back-end could be pretty scary in October. They could shorten the game to five or six innings before unloading the likes of Nathan, Feliz, Joakim Soria, Tanner Scheppers and the reinvented Neal Cotts.
The Rangers have said they are unlikely to use Feliz on consecutive days for the time being -- he's coming off Tommy John surgery, after all -- but that's hardly a problem given the bevy of quality options.
Berkman, 37, is an option at designated hitter. He's hitting .254/.355/.377 with six homers and 34 RBI in 68 games.