Sep 13, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers relief pitcher Neftali Feliz (30) in the dugout after the seventh inning of the game against the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The Texas Rangers have sent former starter and former All-Star closer Neftali Feliz to minor league camp today. Neftali Feliz came into camp as the front-runner for the closers job but was beat out by Joakim Soria fairly easily.
"“We optioned Neftali with the goal of working with him to get back to where we all know he can be,” general manager Jon Daniels said according to texasrangers.com. “He’s healthy and his work ethic has been solid, but he needs some work and the best place to get him that is in Round Rock right now. I expect he’ll be back as soon as he’s ready to help us.”"
I can only imagine that Neftali Feliz is disappointed at being sent down, but a completely healthy Feliz will be a very good thing for the Texas Rangers, and if the Texas Rangers feel like he is not all the way back from his surgery, then sending him down is definitely the right move at this point. The Rangers are hoping to compete for the American League West title for the fifth season in a row, and in order for that to happen, they need Neftali Feliz to be ready to go at full strength later in the season.
The Texas Rangers also sent down Aaron Poreda (0-1, 3.24 ERA in 8.1 innings pitched) and Rafael Perez (0-1, 3.00 ERA in 3.0 innings pitched). That leaves only a few pitchers left in camp to compete for the last few bull pen spots, and Michael Kirkman is still among those candidates. Yikes.