Neftali Feliz Leaves Game With Sore Shoulder

Texas fans, its breath-holding time – according to Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, Neftali Feliz left today’s game after three innings because of “right shoulder stiffness.” Feliz was scheduled to pitch the fourth, but was replaced by Neal Cotts instead.

Because the game was in Mesa, which is not one of the parks that has Pitch F/x installed in Arizona, we can’t compare his velocity in today’s start to his prior spring training outings. However, Durrett notes that the stadium gun had him sitting between 93-95, and his performance seemed okay, as he struck out two batters in three scoreless innings. Both of those are good signs, and this could be nothing more than general spring training aches and pains from a guy getting stretched out after spending last year in the bullpen.

However, the Rangers have the ability to be cautious here. They have the deepest starting staff in baseball, and it wouldn’t be overly challenging for them to let Alexi Ogando or Scott Feldman begin the year in the rotation if Feliz needed more time to get stretched out. The Rangers schedule in April will require them to have a fifth starter from the beginning of the season, but their alternatives mean that Feliz doesn’t necessarily have to be one of those five. They were planning on limiting his innings this season anyway, so giving him some time off at the beginning of the season might not be a bad idea anyway.

Even if this turns out to be nothing, the Rangers have the ability to take it easy with Feliz. They should probably take advantage of their depth, because if Feliz turns out to not be able to handle a full time rotation job, they’ll need guys like Ogando and Feldman to make some starts during the season anyway.

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Dave is a co-founder of and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

20 Responses to “Neftali Feliz Leaves Game With Sore Shoulder”

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  1. BMac says:

    The Tigers schedule? Is there a big trade coming? (Probably a good match at that…)

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  2. Thurston24 says:

    While I don’t wish injury upon anyone and hope he’s alright, as a Mariners fan, I wouldn’t be sad to hear that Texas held him out for a long time. My favorite scenario would be Texas sends him down to AAA for half a year and realizes he can’t cut it as a starter and makes him a full time reliever permanently (with no injury occurring).

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  3. Sandy Kazmir says:

    Sorry, Dave, but the Rays have the deepest staff in MLB.

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    • JimNYC says:

      The Yankees currently (or, as of April 1, whatever) have 6 guys they’d be perfectly content to throw out any given day, plus Michael Pineda cooling his heels in the minors.

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      • Sandy Kazmir says:

        Sabathia: 3.33
        Pineda: 3.86
        Kuroda: 4.08
        Hughes: 4.39
        Garcia: 4.64
        Nova: 4.66
        Banuelos: 5.49

        Refer to my comment below for what these numbers mean. The Yankees have a very imposing #1 and a nice 2/3, but I don’t think anyone values the rest of those guys too highly, though they certainly have names we’ve heard plenty of times.

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      • TX Ball Scout says:

        How many of them are any good?

        Just sayin.

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    • Ira says:

      the Rays have a deep staff.

      Moore, Shields, Price, Niemann, Hellickson, with Davis and Sonnenstine as backups.

      but I still think the Rangers are deeper. Darvish, Holland, Lewis, Harrison, Feliz, Feldman, Ogando, plus also Kirkman, Perez, and Ramirez knocking on the door. Perez might not be as good a prospect as Moore, but he’s close, and he’ll be in AAA this year, or even in the bullpen.

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      • Barry says:

        Sonnanstine plays for the Cubs

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      • Sandy Kazmir says:

        Shields (3.66), Price (3.36), Moore (3.74), Hellickson (3.63), Niemann (4.06), Davis (4.27), Cobb (4.05), Torres (4.59), and mayhap Chris Archer would all be starting opening day on a lesser rotation. Numbers in parentheses indicate the properly weighted average ERA from PECOTA/CAIRO/Zips. Those numbers for the Rangers you listed:
        Darvish: ???
        Holland: 4.33
        Lewis: 4.13
        Harrison: 4.34
        Feliz: 3.48 (not sure if this is as a pen projection, if so, bump up)
        Feldman: 4.81
        Ogando: 3.66
        Kirkman: 5.30
        Perez: 5.41
        Ramirez: 5.56

        Let’s go out on a skinny branch and say Darvish is as good as the Rays best at Price’s 3.36 you’re still looking at two other guys projected under 4.00 with both possibly having reliever status bumping up their projection and one of them being the basis for this article by possibly being hurt.

        There’s a reason the Rangers felt they had to go out and sign a potential ace and if you look at all the question marks it becomes pretty clear.

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      • TK says:

        Just to be clear, you’re saying those guys would be in a lesser starting rotation opening day, right?

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      • Joe says:

        Davis was the 3rd worst starter in fWAR over the last 2 years for guys with 300+ innings… Why do people keep referring to him as a good starter/good depth?

        Even Hellickson who had an absurd ERA, had some pretty poor peripherals – 1.4fWAR, FIP and xFIP over 4.4. He should get better but why would folks not look at the advanced stats with this guy?

        I do find it interesting that ERA gets mocked on this site yet people seem to have no issue using it or an adjusted one when it suits the argument and the “advanced” metrics don’t.

        Why would you not use advance stats? You are comparing an extreme pitchers park to 2 hitter parks and also confounding it with defense to compare pitchers?

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  4. bender says:

    Deepest starting staff in baseball? The rays would disagree

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  5. AJ says:

    The Rangers starting staff is garbage. Not a single starter on the rangers would crack the Rays’ top 4. Bottom half of the AL.

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    • danielperson says:

      Yu Darvish says hello.

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    • j6takish says:

      When will people realize it isn’t 1999 anymore? The Rangers have good pitching. Every starter minus Colby Lewis posted atleast 3 WAR last year and they had the smallest gap between ERA and FIP of any team in the majors. They didn’t have an “ESPN Ace” but they had 5 above average/great starters and with that much offense, thats all you need

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    • elijah says:

      Rays starters in 2011 (who qualified for min. IP)

      James Shields: 4.9 fWAR
      David Price: 4.7 fWAR
      Jeremy Hellickson: 1.4 fWAR
      Wade Davis: 0.9 fWAR

      Rangers starters (minus CJ Wilson) in 2011 (who qualified for min. IP)

      Matt Harrison: 4.2 fWAR
      Derek Holland: 3.6 fWAR
      Alexi Ogando: 3.6 fWAR
      Colby Lewis: 2.3 fWAR

      So basically Ogando, who probably won’t even start the season in the Rangers rotation this season, cracks the Rays top 4 easily according to last year’s performance.

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  6. Judy says:

    You’re all just tempting the TJS gods.

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  7. CS Yankee says:

    The deepest starting staff could be argued as the Rays, Yankees, or Rangers.

    The best rotation would be the Angels, Phillies or Giants; as you need 3+ SP come postseason (not 5-6).

    The Yankees or Rangers have the better bats by far, the Rays the better gloves by far, the Tigers the easest divison by far, the Phillies the better pension by far…it’ll be a fun year.

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  8. Matt says:

    The rays do not have better gloves by far then the rangers. You want to argue they are better, fine but it’s at least close. If anything when gentry plays cf, it’s Pretty clearly the rangers

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