Rangers name Joakim Soria closer

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

There's a new closer in Texas.
There's a new closer in Texas. (USATSI)

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The Rangers have named right-hander Joakim Soria their closer, the team announced. Fellow righty and ex-closer Neftali Feliz still needs to earn a roster spot before the season.

Soria, 29, is no stranger to closing. He saved 160 games for the Royals from 2007-11, pitching to a 2.40 ERA and 3.92 K/BB. The Rangers picked him up last offseason as he was rehabbing from his second Tommy John surgery. Soria had a 3.80 ERA and 2.00 K/BB in 23 2/3 innings for Texas down the stretch.

The 25-year-old Feliz saved 74 games for the Rangers from 2009-11 before the team signed Joe Nathan. He missed most of 2012-13 with Tommy John surgery but returned to throw 4 2/3 scoreless innings last last year. Feliz has a career 2.61 ERA but has allowed four runs on 11 hits in eight innings this spring.

In other news, the Rangers also announced right-hander Tanner Scheppers has won a spot in their rotation after being their primary setup man a year ago. Righty Alexi Ogando is moving to the bullpen.

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