The Texas Rangers avoided arbitration with Neftali Feliz by agreeing to a one-year deal that was announced today. This isn’t much of a surprise after the success he had during the second half of last season.
During the second half of the season Feliz had a 1.88 ERA with 13 saves and 18 strikeouts. I think his stats would have been a bit better if the Rangers were playing better last season. Neftali Feliz like many of the other pitchers had their stats skewed because the offense and defense was lacking due to the number of injuries the team sustained during the course of the season.
When the season first started many didn’t know if he’d ever return to the same Feliz people saw during the 2011 season. But, after a lot of hard work and confidence from the team he managed to work his way back to the majors. Even after he worked his way back to the Texas Rangers he still didn’t look the same, but after he had a few games under his belt and saves he started to show he had regained the faith in himself and more importantly in his arm. By the end of the season he was finally reaching back and firing the ball near 98 MPH. Although he probably averaged in the mid-90s it was still a good sign that there still a bit of the pre-injury Feliz left.
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That is very good news for the Rangers going in to the 2015 season. Nothing is ever set in stone before spring training, but I think he’ll easily be the closer next season. I also think he’ll be able to continue the progress he had at the end of last season and will be a very effective closer for the Texas Rangers.
With a bit of luck the Texas Rangers will manage to stay healthy and perform like they should. If that happened Feliz might have a chance to prove he’s able to perform on the big stage again in October.
Video: 08/25/14 – Feliz closes the door
Neftali Feliz retires Robinson Cano to record the save as the Rangers take a 2-0 win over the Mariners