Texas Rangers

March 3, 2014

Neftali Feliz unfazed by low velocity early in spring

The right-hander says he is simply building up arm strength.

Neftali Feliz threw 20 pitches in his Cactus League debut Sunday and his fastball sat in the 90-92 mph range. That’s significantly lower than what Feliz threw as an All-Star closer and less than where he sat during winter ball.

But Feliz isn’t concerned.

“It’s early in spring training,” Feliz said Monday. “I’m not trying to throw my hardest yet. I’m just building up arm strength. My velocity is coming soon.”

Feliz is also working on his delivery. The Rangers would like him to get “more on top of the ball,” which means he has to extend his arm more. This adjustment is meant to help Feliz avoid another arm injury.

The Rangers entered spring hoping that Feliz would reclaim the closer role after a failed attempt at starting. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen Tuesday and throw in a game Thursday.

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