Neftali Feliz feeling comfortable in race to be Rangers’ closer

Posted Friday, Mar. 14, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Right-hander Neftali Feliz twice hit 94 mph Thursday night during a scoreless ninth inning, and was sitting at 93 on most of his fastballs as he continues to chase the velocity he featured before having Tommy John surgery in August 2012.

He also mixed in an 85-mph changeup that got a swing and miss, and his final pitch was a 78-mph slider for an inning-ending strikeout. Feliz’s focus as he tries to become the Rangers’ closer has been on his secondary pitches, mechanics and location down in the strike zone, and he believes the upper-90s velocity will come.

Despite all the concerns he has heard, he said that he is on track for the regular season.

“I need to be comfortable with me,” said Feliz, who used a fastball and slider as a closer in 2010 and 2011. “I’ll be ready. It’s better if you use three pitches instead of two.”

Manager Ron Washington also believes that Feliz will show more on the radar gun, and liked the way Feliz repeated his new mechanics and kept the ball down against San Francisco.

But Washington isn’t ready to anoint Feliz, who is competing with Joakim Soria and Tanner Scheppers, as the closer.

“He’s getting outs,” Washington said. “There’s more to be got. We’ve just got to wait until it arrives. In the meantime, he’s just got to learn how to get out with what he’s got. It’s going to be a while until we get to the point where he can freely let it go.”

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

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Wednesday, July 30Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia2Bottom 8th | Box
NY Mets9@theBallpark | TV: CSN-PHI, SNY
Milwaukee5Bottom 9th | Box
Tampa Bay0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-WI
Arizona5Top 9th | Box
Cincinnati1@theBallpark | TV: FSN-AZ, MLB Network
Washington4Bottom 8th | Box
Miami1@theBallpark | TV: WUSA 9, MASN, MLB Net
Oakland1Bottom 4th | Box
Houston6@theBallpark | TV: CSN-HOU
Pittsburgh 7/30 3:45 PM ET
San Francisco TV: CSN-BA, MLB Network
LA Angels 7/30 7:05 PM ET
Baltimore TV: FSN-W, MASN, ESPN
Seattle 7/30 7:05 PM ET
Cleveland TV: ROOT-NW, STO
Chicago WSox 7/30 7:08 PM ET
Detroit TV: CSN-CHI, FSN-DET
Toronto 7/30 7:10 PM ET
Boston TV: SNET, NESN
Colorado 7/30 8:05 PM ET
Chicago Cubs TV: ROOT-RM, CSN-CHI+
NY Yankees 7/30 8:05 PM ET
Texas TV: YES, FSN-SW
Minnesota 7/30 8:10 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FSN-N, FSN-KC
Atlanta 7/30 10:10 PM ET
Los Angeles TV: SPSO, SportsNet LA
St. Louis 7/30 10:10 PM ET
San Diego TV: FSN-MW, FSN-SD
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, July 30Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, July 30Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, July 30Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia2Bottom 8th | Box
NY Mets9@theBallpark | TV: CSN-PHI, SNY
Milwaukee5Bottom 9th | Box
Tampa Bay0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-WI
Arizona5Top 9th | Box
Cincinnati1@theBallpark | TV: FSN-AZ, MLB Network
Washington4Bottom 8th | Box
Miami1@theBallpark | TV: WUSA 9, MASN, MLB Net
Oakland1Bottom 4th | Box
Houston6@theBallpark | TV: CSN-HOU
Pittsburgh 7/30 3:45 PM ET
San Francisco TV: CSN-BA, MLB Network
LA Angels 7/30 7:05 PM ET
Baltimore TV: FSN-W, MASN, ESPN
Seattle 7/30 7:05 PM ET
Cleveland TV: ROOT-NW, STO
Chicago WSox 7/30 7:08 PM ET
Detroit TV: CSN-CHI, FSN-DET
Toronto 7/30 7:10 PM ET
Boston TV: SNET, NESN
Colorado 7/30 8:05 PM ET
Chicago Cubs TV: ROOT-RM, CSN-CHI+
NY Yankees 7/30 8:05 PM ET
Texas TV: YES, FSN-SW
Minnesota 7/30 8:10 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FSN-N, FSN-KC
Atlanta 7/30 10:10 PM ET
Los Angeles TV: SPSO, SportsNet LA
St. Louis 7/30 10:10 PM ET
San Diego TV: FSN-MW, FSN-SD
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, July 30Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, July 30Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard