Sep 20, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Texas Rangers pitcher Neftali Feliz (30) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the eighth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Neftali Feliz impresses in First Minor League Outing

Former Texas Rangers closer Neftali Feliz had his first outing with the Texas Rangers AAA affiliate the Round Rock Express on April 4th, and it was good. According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Feliz threw 16 pitches and got four swings and misses on his way to a 1-2-3 inning where he struck out the side. Feliz was less than impressive during spring training after being very impressive during winter ball.


If Feliz can work his way back to the majors sooner rather than later that would be a good thing for the Texas Rangers organization as a whole. With names like Pedro Figueroa, Seth Rosin and Shawn Tollenson manning roles in the pen, it would be nice to see Feliz work his way back to the big club. Nothing against any of those men, as Rosin and Tollenson are both of to great starts, but having a healthy and effective Neftali Feliz back in the fold in Arlington can be nothing but a good thing. Neal Cotts struggled against Tampa on Saturday, and it would be nice to have another option to go to in a high stress situation like Cotts was in. The fact is, a healthy Neftali Feliz is better than a healthy Perdo Figueroa, Shawn Tollenson or Seth Rosin. We know what we are getting from Neftali Feliz if he is healthy, as to where we do not know much about the other pitchers yet.


So should the Texas Rangers rush him back after one good outing? I think not. We need to see more from the former all-star closer before he will be welcomed back to The Globe. Do I think he will make it back to Arlington before the end of May? I would count on it, if there is one thing I know about Neftali Feliz, it is that he wants to be with his teammates and he wants to get back to the World Series, and I believe that he will work very hard to try to make that happen for himself and his teammates.

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  • Lee Stitzel

    Any word on his velo? Has it come back at all? I don’t see the team calling him up if he’s just a little over 90.

    • Ben Dieter

      yes Lee. I am glad you mentioned that, I forgot to put the velocity in the post. He hit 96 and was consistently at 94 during the inning according to reports.

  • TexasBBTown

    Lee, he reached 94 – 95 repeatedly, although it should be considered that the gun may have been fast. Kind of odd that he immediately jumped from 90 – 91 in his first outing. Probably should also be taken into consideration that Daniels and Washington haven’t been consistent in what they say they’re looking for with Feliz. Daniels claimed a couple of weeks ago that the AAA assignment was about building up arm strength and velocity; Washington said during pre-game the other day that the assignment was NOT about arm strength or velocity, it was about *consistency*. And then you’ve got all of the stories out of camp about work ethic and attitude.

    Unless Feliz becomes absolutely dominant, I suspect we won’t actually see what does or does not trigger a call up. I thought he would start the season in the ‘pen; the AAA assignment suggests (IMO), that Feliz has has lost Washington’s and Maddux’s trust. He won’t win that back with a few good outings.

  • Lee Stitzel

    I tend to believe JD over Wash. Wash just talks sometimes. I wonder if Feliz is still suffering with some confidence issues.

  • quixote kid

    I was at the game Friday night, the scoreboard radar gun was consistently off. Several times it showed pitches in the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s…so I didn’t trust it. That said, it looked to me like Feliz was throwing faster than the 88-92 mph that the board did show.

    • Ben Dieter

      I appreciate the info sir. Thanks a bunch. I do not expect Feliz back very fast, but I do hope starting in the minors has lit a fire under him.