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Neftali Feliz expected to take over as Rangers closer following Joakim Soria trade

Jul 24, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

Neftali Feliz AP

Texas traded closer Joakim Soria to Detroit for a pair of prospects and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Rangers will likely turn back to a familiar name to fill the vacant closer role: Neftali Feliz.

Feliz was the Rangers’ closer in 2010 and 2011, saving 74 career games by age 22, but then they tried to make him a starter and Tommy John elbow surgery followed. His comeback hasn’t been a smooth one and Feliz spent the first two months of this season at Triple-A before being called up to Texas in early July.

Since returning he’s posted a nice-looking 2.61 ERA in seven appearances, but a 4/3 K/BB ratio in 10.1 innings tells a much less impressive story for a pitcher who racked up 164 strikeouts in his first 163 innings as a big leaguer. His average fastball velocity is 92.2 miles per hour, compared to 96.3 mph in 2010-2011, so if Feliz does in fact slide back into the closer role there may be some bumps along the way.

  1. edelmanfanclub - Jul 24, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    It worked out for Sale, Price & Wainwright but sometimes you should leave a good reliever as a reliever. Albeit you won’t know that until they stink it up (IE: Daniel Bard). Feliz got hurt, but at least he’s rebounded as a reliever. Bard, was broken but the switch to starter and has never been fixed. He had an ERA over 100 in the minors this year.

  2. mundial8 - Jul 24, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    I could see Tolleson getting a save here or there..

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