Not counting today, Opening Day is 10 days away. That doesn’t leave much time for the Texas Rangers to make their final decisions regarding their roster – and they have several left such as the starting rotation, the bullpen and Chris Davis.
First of all, what are the Rangers going to do with Neftali Feliz? He has been very impressive this spring and is looking more like a starter with each game that he pitches. However, is the need for him in a starting position more than the need for him in the bullpen? For this year, I’m not so sure.
I think he could definitely handle the role of a starter and prove to be a very successful ace for the Rangers as I’ve stated on Nolan Writin’ before; however, there is not solid depth in the bullpen without Feliz in my opinion. Feliz and Alexi Ogando provide that solid relief and depth in the bullpen when the other guys can’t. Darren Oliver ultimately has the best ERA so far this spring while Darren O’Day, Arthur Rhodes and Mark Lowe have been quite the embarrassment. While their ERA’s aren’t necessarily the most important thing in Spring Training since everyone is getting back into the swing of things after being off for a couple of months, but the numbers are still there and are a concern.
Without Feliz and Ogando in the bullpen, I would seriously worry about the Rangers being able to hold on for a victory in the final innings of a game. Despite this, the Rangers feel they can get an adequate closer in time for the season if Feliz makes the starting rotation. The decision is set to come for Feliz after his final Spring Training start this Thursday against the San Diego Padres – stay tuned because we will keep you updated. If Feliz makes rotation, Ogando will be the No. 1 closer and the Rangers will embark on a journey to find a closer that can hold out batters the way Feliz did prior to April 1.
Now, Chris Davis. Davis has shown that he can make it in the Big Leagues by regaining confidence and power this spring; however, are the Rangers willing to give him a chance and take Mitch Moreland off first base? I have mixed feelings about this one. I really think Chris Davis has a lot of potential but so does Mitch Moreland.
Right now, the Rangers have a commitment to Moreland at first along with the help of Mike Napoli and Michael Young when Moreland needs rest. If the Rangers stay true to this, the best bet for Davis is a trade – as he has requested. If the Rangers trade Davis, they could acquire some significant Minor League pitchers that could prove to be successful starters for next season or other seasons to come. I figure with Davis, the Rangers are either going to find a way to bring him on the Major League roster in some form of fashion or they are going to attempt a trade.