Neftali Feliz Returns From Shoulder Injury

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Neftali Feliz Activated From Disabled List

After relying on a pair of quadragenarians to get them through ninth-inning save situations, the Texas Ranges must be happy to announce that their closer Neftali Feliz is returning. From John Blake, V.P. of Communications for the Rangers:

RHP Neftali Feliz has been activated from the DL. C Taylor Teagarden has been optioned to Round Rock.

Cody Eppley, a right-handed reliever, was the original replacement for Feliz, but he's pitched well over his first five innings, so the Rangers decided they would rather be without Teagarden, who was a third catcher behind Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli.

Feliz dominated in his rehab appearances at Double-A Frisco, striking out 75% of the batters he faced and touching triple digits with his fastball. It's always worrisome when a young pitcher has shoulder issues -- no one really knows what's in those things -- so the return of his velocity and strikeout stuff should put Rangers fans at ease.

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Neftali Feliz To Make Rehab Appearance On Wednesday

Neftali Feliz will head to Double-A Frisco on Wednesday to make a rehab appearance, the first in-game action for Feliz since shoulder inflammation put the Texas Rangers closer on the disabled list. From Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Rangers will send Neftali Feliz to Frisco for an inning Wednesday after 46-pitch bullpen session today.

Presumably that means the bullpen session went well enough to allow him to make his scheduled rehab appearance. If the appearance goes well, the Rangers could activate him when he's eligible before Friday's game against the New York Yankees.

Since Feliz has been out, the Rangers have used a combined 81 years of left-handed relief experience to close out games, with Darren Oliver and Arthur Rhodes handling those duties.

Feliz's fastball velocity was down a little bit at the start of the season, but not alarmingly so. When right, the right-handed reliever/starter/reliever usually sits in the mid-90s.

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Neftali Feliz Shoulder Inflammation Lands Closer On Disabled List

Is he a closer or a starter? A starter or a closer? A floor wax or a dessert topping? Unfortunately for the Texas Rangers, the answer right now is "hurt," as the team will be without his services for at least two weeks after placing Feliz on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder. From MLB.com:

The Texas Rangers announced this afternoon that the club has placed right-handed pitcher Neftali Feliz on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Thursday, with right shoulder inflammation.

Right-hander Cody Eppley was recalled from AAA Round Rock to take Feliz's place on the 25-man roster, and right-hander Eric Hurley was placed on the 60-day disabled list (concussion) to make room for Eppley on the 40-man roster. Eppley is one of the best relief prospects in the Rangers' system, with a career K/9 of 10.6 and a BB/9 of 1.9 over 173 minor league innings.

Feliz was five-for-five in save opportunities this season, but his velocity was down, as was his strikeout rate over a small sample. In his absence, it's expected that the ageless Darren Oliver will get most of the save chances.

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