Peter Gammons: Feliz en route to regain Rangers’ closer role

Neftali Feliz

As the Rangers greet Prince Fielder and move Jurickson Profar to second base, their eyes have been on the Dominican. There, Neftali Feliz has struck out 6 of the 10 batters he’s faced and is reportedly 95% back from Tommy John Surgery, en route to regaining his closer role. And Robbie Ross has been sitting 93, not only showing his glove side fastball and slider that makes him so good out of the pen, but pitching in to righthanders very well. He could be a fifth starter and put Alexi Ogando in the pen, or vice versa.

So, even though they opted not to bring Joe Nathan—10th all-time in saves, incidentally—back, they think their pen is potentially dominant with Feliz, Tanner Scheppers, Joakim Soria, Jason Frasor, Neal Cotts, Ross, Shawn Tolleson…

Getting Fielder and Profar in there every day helps solve one problem—their lefthanded batters had a .300 on base percentage and slugged under .400 in a lefthanded power park, a reason for finishing between 8th and 10th in the league in runs, homers and OPS. So now Jon Daniels is in on one or two more bats, from Nelson Cruz to Carlos Beltran, Kendrys Morales to Curtis Granderson, to get them back; hey, they lost in the 2012 play-in game, missed it by a game last year…