Report: Neftali Feliz to take over for Joakim Soria as Rangers closer

Thursday July 24th, 2014

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

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