The Texas Rangers are continuing to look at ways to revamp their bullpen after losing key right-handed relievers Mike Adams and Koji Uehara to free agency.
They’ve added Jason Frasor to the back end along with Joakim Soria and still have a mix of guys like Tanner Scheppers, Robbie Ross, Josh Lindblom, and Michael Kirkman in there. What’s going to go a long way for the Rangers is getting former stud closer Neftali Feliz back from Tommy John surgery. The flame thrower had a ton of success as a late-inning guy before the Rangers made the error of moving him to the rotation.
Moving Feliz back to the bullpen will give the Rangers one of the nastiest back end bullpens around if Soria and Feliz come back strong. To pair with Joe Nathan, I wouldn’t want to be a right-handed hitter facing that kind of heat in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings. I personally believe they could use another left-handed reliever (Matt Thorton perhaps?), but this kind of bullpen is more than adequate as it stands right now.
Feliz has good stuff, but when it comes down to it, I believe he’s more valuable throwing 97-100 in the 9th inning opposed to 92-93 as a starter for six. Throw in his elbow injury so early in his career, I wouldn’t want this guy to have more break downs in his body due to work load. I know Feliz wants to start, but the Rangers already have a pretty solid rotation as it is, and a farm system that could fetch another top tier starter (Matt Garza?) if they so choose.
We’ll see what the Rangers plan on doing, but Feliz back to the bullpen makes a ton of sense in my opinion.