The Texas Rangers decided they didn’t need to wait until Thursday night’s game to see if they would put Neftali Feliz in the starting rotation. Instead of starting tonight’s game, Feliz will be pitching a later inning of relief.
Feliz did not disappoint this spring as he was solid in his innings and impressed everyone, even Nolan Ryan. However, their need was greater in the bullpen despite Feliz being more than good enough to make the rotation hands down. Feliz will remain in the bullpen for now but may find that he has a shot at the starting rotation again next year should the Rangers be able to acquire a closer or find a suitable replacement in-house for the bullpen.
More after the jump….
So, for now, Feliz will remain the closer for the Texas Rangers throughout 2011 but he has the potential to become a starter in the future – no doubt about it.
As I projected earlier this morning in my post, the rotation would include C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland and Matt Harrison. I knew the last three might change around from my projection, but I was pretty sure they would all be in it. The Rangers confirmed that these guys would be in the rotation but the actual order has yet to be confirmed aside from Wilson and Lewis who are locked into No. 1 and No. 2 roles.
Brandon Webb will start the 2011 MLB season on the DL and will hope to be ready to pitch come May or June but it is honestly still too early to tell how quickly he’ll progress as he’s been running into issues as of late and struggling to get into the swing of things.
I didn’t see Michael Kirkman making the starting rotation and I had doubts of him making the bullpen as you’ll see in my post that I have ready for tomorrow, which has now been updated based on the following information: the Rangers sent Kirkman down to AAA Round Rock.