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Bad timing: Tommy Hunter suffers strained right groin

Mar 24, 2011, 6:49 PM EDT

getty hunter Getty Images

Mere hours after announcing that young flame-thrower Neftali Feliz will remain in his familiar ninth inning role to open the 2011 season, the Rangers got a dose of unfortunate news concerning one of the members of their starting rotation.

According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, right-hander Tommy Hunter was lifted from his Cactus League outing Thursday against the Reds due to a strained muscle in the right side of his groin.

Hunter told reporters after the game that he is still aiming to be available for the start of the regular season, but that seems way doubtful given the normal recovery time for a groin strain. It’s almost certain, in fact, that he’s going to be placed on the disabled list before Opening Day.

The Rangers probably won’t want to use Feliz as a spot starter in the early going even though he’s stretched out and wholly capable, so they’ll likely look to a guy like Scott Feldman or maybe even Dave Bush to do the filling in while Hunter recovers. It should only be three or four weeks.

Hunter, 24, finished with a healthy 13-4 record and 3.73 ERA over 128 innings last season for Texas.

  1. cur68 - Mar 24, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    Nice. The raging debate over @ the original post about Feliz had finally shown some sign of petering out & now this turns up. Sigh. Oh well, maybe they’ve said all they want to say on the subject. All I want to say is that this might be good thing for Feliz (and totally suck for Hunter; good luck with the groin) and he gets to start, because he can really pour it over. It’ll be fun watching him pitch more.

  2. Jonny 5 - Mar 24, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    They must’ve angered the baseball gods over stuffing Feliz into the pen.

    • gt929 - Mar 25, 2011 at 12:02 AM

      Or maybe the baseball gods are attempting a correction. Nothing against Hunter (except for lousy playoffs and spring training), but here’s to him getting Pipp’ed.

  3. jdmcmill - Mar 25, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    YES!!!! More Neftali!!! Thank you so much!!

  4. trevorb06 - Mar 25, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    I don’t like seeing anybody getting injured, but I’m not gonna lie when I say a big ol’ grin did infact come cross my face upon reading this. Give it to Neftali! For his career!

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