July 16, 2012

Neftali Feliz takes another step toward return with two-inning stint in Frisco

Neftali Feliz pitches two innings in a rehab start for Frisco.

FRISCO -- Texas Rangers right-hander Neftali Feliz took another step in his rehab toward the big leagues Monday night, pitching two innings for the Double A Frisco RoughRiders.

Feliz, who has been on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation, gave up one hit, one run and two walks while striking out four of the nine batters he faced in his first rehab start. Twenty-five of his 40 pitches went for strikes.

"I was trying to keep my pitches low and, of course, throw strikes," he said. "I had gone a long time without pitching from the mound, but I was trying to practice all of my pitches."

Feliz said the goal of his rehab is to return to the Rangers as soon as possible. However, he doesn't know if he will be brought back as a starter or reliever.

"The first thing is to be healthy," he said. "I want to be ready to help the team. I'm trying to be ready as soon as I can and help the team in any way. I haven't been told anything.

"I just have to do my rehab and work to get healthy and be better. All I know is my next outing is on Friday at Round Rock."

Feliz is scheduled to pitch three innings Friday for the Triple A Express.

He is 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA in eight games, including seven starts, with the Rangers. He was placed on the 60-day disabled list on June 16.

The Rangers' pitching staff is approaching a return to full health.

Alexi Ogando (right groin) and Koji Uehara (right lat) are expected back in the bullpen tonight as the Rangers begin a two-game series in Oakland. Colby Lewis (forearm tendinitis) is scheduled to start Wednesday.

Feliz likely would move to the bullpen if Roy Oswalt continues to solidify his spot in the rotation after a couple of rough starts.

Jon Poorman, 817-390-7760

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