Rangers Sweep Royals, But Who's Gonna Close Now?

Categories: Texas Rangers
Neftali Feliz - World Series.jpg
A couple times this year I've questioned manager Ron Washington's use -- overuse? -- of Rangers' releiver Neftali Feliz.

Like in the season opener, when Wash inserted Feliz to get the final three outs of a 9-5 win. And two days later when Feliz again pitched in a four-run win. And yet again last week, when he labored through a 31-pitch, three-walk inning of a 4-1 loss to the Angels.

Each time, however, I was told by people who feel pretty strongly about knowing more baseball than me that Feliz "needs the work" or that Wash was right in "just trying to win the game."

Problem: The Rangers' weekend sweep of the Royals, in which they hammered home 22 runs, is overshadowed by Feliz being placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his throwing shoulder.

In four of his 10 appearances this season, the Rangers' closer entered a game in which Texas either trailed or led by 3-plus runs. Hmm. Maybe it's not that big of a deal. The Yankees' Mariano Rivera has appeared three times (in 11 overall games) when New York has had a lead of three runs. He hasn't, however, pitched when the Yankees trailed or when they had a four-run lead.

Nevertheless, I've got a follow-up question: Who's gonna close until Feliz returns May 6?

Side-winding right-hander Cody Eppley replaced Feliz on the roster, but the Rangers' saves on Saturday and Sunday went to 40-something lefties Darren Oliver and Arthur Rhodes.

But if you think things were dicey without Josh Hamilton, wait until we get a couple weeks of life without Feliz.

You did see Brett Tomko in yesterday's 9th, didn't you?


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Daily Affirmation
Daily Affirmation

Dear Lord, Julio going tonight. Please help Colby pitch around Bautista. Please let me not ever again have to read someone state that 8 innings in 18 games by a closer is overuse.

Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett

Richie (I know you won't respond to this) -

Honest question - Why do you always link to ESPN? The DO has no network affiliation, but The Fan is affiliated with CBS. Why not link to CBS sports? Just curious. Carry on.

The ghost of David Clyde
The ghost of David Clyde

Perhaps Feliz's shoulder wouldn't be sore if they'd worked him like a closer instead of a starter in spring training.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Feliz had shoulder discomfort going back to the beginning of the season and didn't bother to tell anyone. Way to get all the facts. Wash didn't overuse him by any means, and in fact may have underused him on the road trip. It's on Feliz to tell a coach or trainer not everything's kosher with his arm.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I heard them refer to Neffy had thing going on at NYY..nothing prior to that. He'll be back, it'll be ok, please keep all arms and legs in the bandwagon.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

As Grant reported, he was sore before that but didn't mention it until the Yankees series. They let him rest, it still wasn't working, and now they shut him down for 15 days.

He'll be fine, and they'll cobble something together that may or may not work in the meantime.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

One other thing, RW, I will agree that I thought Neffy shouldn't have been used in those 4 run games either..but on the other hand..he was in need of work...right? You can't control what baseball do, this injury will just bring everyone even closer...like molecule close..atoms even..so very close.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

The defacto closer is the OSB's BFF..his name is DO (not the bad one) and I cherry picked him on Saturday to replace my man Neffy. Didn't have him in time for Saturday's save..but I'll bet ya that he gets damn near every save opp til Neffy makes it back.

Oh yeah RW, Clewis starts again tonight..you had a chance to catch up with him and explain your HSO yet? (Didn't figure you did, because you sir..are a little girl)

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