If you would’ve told me in 2010 when Neftali Feliz won the MLB AL Rookie of the Year that he would be signing a one-year, $2.9M contract just three years later, I would’ve call you crazy.
Like it or not, Feliz has endured some setbacks since his fantastic rookie campaign. However he still remains fourth all-time amongst the Rangers’ leaders in saves with 72, which all were compiled in just two seasons as Feliz is now a starter.
The Texas Rangers also reached a 5-year $55M contract with Matt Harrison, who won 18 games for the club in 2012 and will be the ace for years to come. I have no doubt that Feliz will be right beside Harrison and Yu Darvish, as the teams starting rotation is shaping up nicely after years of mediocrity.
Feliz is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and has not pitched in a big league game since May 19th. A bit of rust may await him when he begins the 2013 season however, I believe he will be one of the many players who return stronger from the surgery. Feliz was transitioning to the starter role better than expected before he went down, as he was 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA in seven starts.
One of those starts was a complete game in which he fanned six Detroit Tigers while giving up three earned runs.
In my mind, Feliz has been a success wherever the Rangers have decided to put him, and has shown a tremendous amount of poise at age of 24. While it is unclear how much time Feliz will miss rehabbing, the Rangers will receive a big jolt once he does return.