2014 Fantasy Baseball: Neftali Feliz is on Track to be a Closer Again

By Bill Pivetz
Neftali Feliz
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers is, surprisingly, the worst team in baseball. The team is at the bottom of the standings with a 40-61 record. The Rangers’ front office is in a sell now, win later mood. The team traded closer Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers for some minor league players. As a result, this gives former closer Neftali Feliz a chance to reclaim his closer spot.

Feliz has been in a set-up, middle-reliever role since the Rangers acquired Soria in 2013. In 10.1 innings this year, he has a 2.61 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. If given the chance, Feliz can still be reliable in the last inning of any game.

Feliz was last in a closer role in 2011. From 2010 to 2011, he recorded 72 saves with a 2.73 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 125 strikeouts. He’s only 26-years-old and can give Rangers a boost as the closer.

There may be some competition for the closer position from Neal Cotts. However, his numbers are a little too high to be called upon in the ninth inning. The only way he will see work is if Ron Washington goes with a closer-by-committee approach.

Feliz is widely available in ESPN.com leagues. He’s owned in just 20 percent of those leagues. He is the front runner to be the Rangers closer for the rest of the 2014 season. From the beginning of the fantasy season, everyone has been boasting that saves can be found everywhere. Feliz recapturing his closer role is just the latest example. He wasn’t drafted in most leagues, and now will be a hot pickup this week.

As of right now, Feliz should be picked up in deep and AL-only leagues. He will be owned in all leagues once Washington names Feliz as the everyday-closer.

Bill Pivetz is a fantasy sports writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BPiv_Sports.

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