[USML Announce] Feliz Feliz Me
bljansen at gmail.com
Wed Dec 15 15:37:04 EST 2010
FROM ESPN.COM (and my bold prediction: he saves 25, wins 15).......
The last few weeks, general manager Jon Daniels hasn't attempted to
hide the fact that his club is strongly considering moving Neftali
Feliz into the starting rotation. The closer will be stretched out in
spring training and have an opportunity to compete for a starting job.
It's one thing to talk about the hypotheticals when you're flying to
Arkansas three times and feeling like Cliff Lee could still come to
Arlington. Now that he's not, I bet the Rangers pull the trigger and
insert Feliz into the rotation.
Yes, they could make some other moves this offseason to alter that
thinking. But if he shows enough with his secondary pitches -- and
those pitches improved as the season wore on -- the Rangers will feel
like he can impact the club more starting every fifth day than he
would out of the bullpen.
Does Feliz have good enough stuff to start? The club needs to find
out. In a perfect world, he could have one more year to refine those
pitches. But if he is the closer, he's not relying as much on the
secondary stuff. He'd be forced to work through his offspeed and
breaking stuff if he's in the starting rotation. The club would need
to show some patience, but if Feliz could handle the load, it would be
a big boost to a rotation that just took a hit with the departure of
Lee. It's the difficult call of whether you move a guy who seems to
have Mariano Rivera potential to the starting rotation. But at his
age, if it didn't work, he could always return to the bullpen.
Daniels reiterated on "The Ben & Skin Show" this morning that it's
something the club must consider. Daniels said it's not "comfortable"
because of how good Feliz was in the closer role in 2010, but the club
will look at it.
"We've got to factor it in," Daniels said. "Look at the market. The
top starting pitchers are getting 20-plus million dollars a year. The
top closers are getting 10 to 12. There's a reason for that. The
industry has figured out that there's significantly more value if
Feliz can be a top of the rotation pitcher. I don't know if he can be.
I know he's got some attributes that would make you think he can be.
But he's just 22 years old. He's one of the youngest guys on our team.
It's something we've got to think about."
So the club will stretch him out as a starter, like they did in 2010,
and see what he's got. They'll have to make a decision by the middle
of the spring. I think he'll end up in the rotation.
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