Mon, 14 Apr 2014 16:08:01 -0700
Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington is adamant that RP Joakim Soria remains as the team's closer, but RP Alexi Ogando could see some opportunities to close games out in the ninth in save situations. Washington noted that Soria's command hasn't been that sharp of late, as the closer threw 29 pitches Friday, April 11. Washington has been impressed with Ogando this past week. "We've given him three or four opportunities to close games over his time here and he's closed all of them," Washington said. "We'll just have to wait and see. I'm not anointing him my closer when I've got Soria, but he will get some chance to close some games."
Fantasy Tip: Don't confuse this with closer controversy. Instead, consider Ogando the primary saves handcuff to Soria in the event the incumbent is injured or continues to struggle with his control. Ogando should be snatched up in all AL-only leagues, at least.
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:01:45 -0700
Texas Rangers RP Joakim Soria will pitch in the ninth if a save situation arises Monday, April 14. RP Alexi Ogando recorded the save Sunday, April 13, because Soria had pitched in the two games prior. Washington said Ogando will receive chances to close, but Soria remains the team's closer.
Fantasy Tip: Ogando presumably will get chances to record saves when Soria is unavailable due to heavy workloads. That doesn't mean you should run out to the waiver wire to grab Ogando, unless he's available in your AL-only league. If Soria is injured, however, Ogando figures to be next in line.
Wed, 26 Mar 2014 19:00:36 -0700
The Texas Rangers are starting to finalize their bullpen. RPs Joakim Soria will serve as the closer, with RPs Neal Cotts, Pedro Figueroa, Jason Frasor and Alexi Ogando joining him. That leaves two spots open, and Ps Ryan Feierabend, Michael Kirkman, Daniel McCutchen, Seth Rosin and Shawn Tolleson battling down to the end of camp.
Sat, 22 Mar 2014 11:54:48 -0700
Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington announced that RP Joakim Soria will be the team's closer.
Fantasy Tip: Tanner Scheppers and Neftali Feliz were among the other candidates for the job, but Scheppers was named as the team's No. 3 starter Saturday, while Feliz will continue to battle for one of the final three spots in the bullpen. Soria should be picked up in all leagues if he's available, while RP Alexi Ogando is likely to earn saves on days when Soria is unavailable to close. Feliz can be dropped for now, until his velocity returns and he proves that he can regain his old form.
Tue, 11 Mar 2014 15:37:13 -0700
Texas Rangers RP Neftali Feliz pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close out the game Monday, March 10, but he made it interesting. His ERA is at 4.50 and opponents are hitting .333 off him, and he has yet to reclaim the closer's role. Manager Ron Washington continues to stress that the ninth-inning job is up for grabs, and the team could commit to a committee, if necessary. RPs Joakim Soria and Tanner Scheppers are also competing for the job. Scheppers is also competing for a spot in the rotation.
"He's worked out his mechanics but we'd like to see his velocity get better," Washington said. "It doesn't have to be 98-99 but we'd like to see it get better and sustain it. His mechanics are better and he's using all his pitches. I believe his velocity will spike. He is a power pitcher, not a finesse pitcher." Feliz hit 94 mph twice Monday. Both Feliz and Soria are coming back from Tommy John surgery, but Soria is further along than Feliz.
Fantasy Tip: With Scheppers trying for a rotation gig, a committee approach with Feliz and Soria is very possible. Both closers should be owned, even in deep mixed leagues. Feliz remains the favorite, but Texas probably wouldn't mind to take a load off his shoulders, at least until his velocity gets to where they want it.
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 14:01:21 -0800
Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said the team's closer competition remains wide open between RPs Neftali Feliz, Joakim Soria and Tanner Scheppers. Soria retired all three batters he faced in 10 pitches Thursday, March 6, and Feliz retired all three hitters he faced on 16 pitches. Feliz's fastball touched 93 mph and his changeup hit 85 mph. "I wish all of sudden he could come into spring training and all of a sudden you see 95 (mph) or 97 but he'll work his way to that if it's still in him," Washington said. "But right now, I just want him to stay healthy and if he stays healthy, he'll be where he needs to be."
Fantasy Tip: Remember, Feliz is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, so it's a work in progress with his velocity and command. However, all reports so far have been positive. Unless he suffers a setback, we expect him to open the season as the closer.
Sun, 02 Mar 2014 01:11:07 -0800
Although Texas Rangers RP Neftali Feliz and RP Joakim Soria are competing for the closer job in spring camp, Feliz has not looked impressive so far. Sources have indicated his mechanics are still kind of out of whack and he is not getting his arm extended enough to max out the velocity.
Fantasy Tip: It is too soon to give up on Feliz, but you may want to push him down your draft board for now unless he figures out a way to fix those mechanics.
Sat, 22 Feb 2014 21:15:25 -0800
Texas Rangers RP Joakim Soria is off to the quickest start of the three candidates for the closer's role. He is working against Ps Neftali Feliz and Tanner Scheppers. "He's such a professional," manager Ron Washington said Saturday, Feb. 22. "His arm looks much more free and his velocity has picked up. He was never a power pitcher, but he could locate and throw breaking balls."
Sun, 02 Feb 2014 12:57:35 -0800
Texas Rangers RP Neftali Feliz remains the front-runner to be the team's closer, ahead of RPs Joakim Soria and Tanner Scheppers. During the offseason, Feliz worked with scout Mike Anderson in the Dominican Republic on some mechanical adjustments and tightening up his repertoire. In 10 appearances for Toros del Este of the Dominican Winter League, he posted a 2.79 ERA over 9 2/3 innings, with only two walks and 11 strikeouts. Feliz said he felt better during the latter portion of his time playing winter ball and at one point was clocked at 98 mph on the second day of back-to-back outings. At the end of the 2013 season, he was regularly throwing in the low 90s.
Sun, 29 Dec 2013 11:43:10 -0800
Texas Rangers RP Neftali Feliz appears to be the front-runner to fill the closer's role as a result of the departure of Joe Nathan, although RPs Joakim Soria and Tanner Scheppers could also see save opportunities.