The man who closed World Series games for the Texas Rangers has regained the role he lost – at least in the short term, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
Neftali Feliz was once a dominant closer. He was an All-Star in 2010 and saved 72 games over two seasons. Since 2012, however, he's only thrown 57 2/3 major league innings. Nonetheless, he'll take over for the recently traded Joakim Soria as the Rangers closer for the rest of the season.
“The Feliz of old is a dominant, elite closer,” Rangers GM Jon Daniels said according to the Dallas Morning News. “He may get that opportunity, whether it’s as a traditional closer or in some other way. He’s still so young and you still see the ability, just not as consistently. It would be a good test for him to see how he responds.”
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Current Tigers closer Joe Nathan supplanted Feliz at the start of the 2012 season, and Feliz transitioned into a starting pitcher. Later that season, however, Feliz underwent Tommy John surgery and didn't throw another pitch until Sept. 1, 2013.
Feliz has a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 MLB innings this season. The 26-year-old recorded seven saves and posted a 3.14 ERA in 28 2/3 innings at Triple-A Round Rock prior to being recalled this season.
- Evan Webeck