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Ron Washington wants to keep Neftali Feliz in the bullpen

Dec 15, 2010, 11:49 AM EDT

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In the wake of the Rangers missing out on re-signing Cliff Lee there’s been some speculation that they could fill his spot in the rotation with closer Neftali Feliz, who was primarily a starter in the minors and ranked among Baseball America‘s top 10 prospects as a starter in back-to-back years.

Yesterday manager Ron Washington indicated the shift is a possibility, but called it “a last resort” and made it very clear that he hopes to keep Feliz (and Alexi Ogando) in the bullpen:

I trust that Jon Daniels will find something to help us out. If that becomes a necessity, we’re fortunate we have that depth. If that does not become a necessity, we’ll keep those guys where they are.

In other words, he’s counting on general manager Jon Daniels acquiring another veteran starter, either through trade (Zack Greinke? Matt Garza?) or free agency (Carl Pavano?).

  1. Old Gator - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    Great moments in sports: the Rangers sign Carl Pavano to a $40 million, four-year contract with another $5 million a year in incentives, and Pavano partially tears his media collateral (heh heh) ligament on his first pitch of the 2011 season, then attempts to “pitch through the pain” to the tune of a 5.63 ERA and a .316 opponent’s batting average. Borg fans laugh their asses off for four years.

    • gt929 - Dec 15, 2010 at 12:01 PM

      That’s just wrong, Gator! Why ya hatin’ on my boys, man?

      • Old Gator - Dec 15, 2010 at 12:18 PM

        Because children are horrible.

  2. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    Dumb. Washington doesn’t even bother to use Feliz in the appropriate situations b/c they aren’t save situations. So not only is it wasteful to keep him in the pen, Washington further wastes his talents by not using him in situations that give his team the best chance to win (see all of 2010 playoffs).

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 15, 2010 at 12:39 PM

      Damn you beat me too it. I was going to post that of course Washington would keep him in the bullpen, it’s a lot harder to keep him from pitching in critical situations if he’s a starter.

  3. gt929 - Dec 15, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    I can’t blame Wash for wanting dependable guys in his pen. Blown leads are terribly discouraging to the whole team. That said, I believe the Rangers should let Feliz, Ogando, and Kirkman come to spring training and do the work to EARN a rotation spot, if that’s what they want to do. CJ Wilson wanted to be a starter after 09, and that’s what he did.

  4. RickyB - Dec 15, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    Keeping Perez in the bullpen simply allows Washington to not have to think much at the end of games. With Perez closing, it means a lot less second-guessing that he would have to answer to. Easy way out.

    • gt929 - Dec 15, 2010 at 12:59 PM

      Do you work for Yahoo? They consistently call him Neftali Perez all year in their game recaps. Feliz, sir, Feliz.

      • RickyB - Dec 15, 2010 at 2:47 PM

        Commenting too quickly. Mea culpa.

  5. gt929 - Dec 15, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    Let me begin by saying that I am a die-hard Ron Washington defender. I know he has some defects, as do all of us, but the man took his team where they’ve never been before- to the edge of the Promised Land. He made some mistakes of playoff inexperience, but still won two of the three series. Don’t forget, Feliz was a 22 year old rookie. I just believe that Wash was having to delicately balance his inexperience with the urgency of the playoffs.

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