Olney On Harang, McClellan, Feliz

As Spring Training winds down and teams make their final roster cuts, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney has the latest from around the majors…

  • Aaron Harang signed with the Padres because he has family ties to San Diego, but there’s another reason the right-hander’s a good fit for his new club. Olney and Scott Regan estimate that 13 of the 43 home runs Harang gave up in Cincinnati from 2008-10 would not have been home runs in San Diego. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes identified the Padres as a good match for Harang last October.
  • The Cardinals like what they’ve seen from Kyle McClellan in the rotation. "It's what we would've expected," GM John Mozeliak said. "He has a strong repertoire of pitches. The big challenge for him is going to be going through a lineup multiple times." For more on McClellan's new role, click here.
  • Olney reports that the Rangers will probably decide whether to use Neftali Feliz as a starter or as a closer by the weekend. A week ago, 55% of 6,670 MLBTR readers said Feliz belongs in the ‘pen for 2011.


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22 Comments on "Olney On Harang, McClellan, Feliz"


neoncactus
4 years 5 months ago

Sort of torn here. He will be a solid starter, but they have enough options for a passable rotation. If Ogando or Lowe could step up in camp, it would be an easy decision. At the same time, Feliz was not the closer at this time last year, and there’s a good possibility they could find someone else in the pen to close. Ryan sounds like he wants him to start, but I don’t feel great about any closing options yet.

FrankFranciscoSaysTakeASeat
4 years 5 months ago

You said it. They have a passable rotation without him. But since when do passable rotations win the World Series? Heck, how often do they even make the playoffs? I understand why people are a little torn, but this really shouldn’t be this difficult of a baseball decision.

Feliz is good enough right now to begin the process of becoming a major league starter. He’ll likely take a few lumps early, but by the end of the season you could be looking at something special. If you start Matt Harrison as the fifth starter, he’ll likely take his lumps too, and at the end of the season you’ll still be looking at Matt Harrison.

Prediction: Brandon Webb makes fewer than five starts for the Rangers.

MB923
4 years 5 months ago

“But since when do passable rotations win the World Series? Heck, how often do they even make the playoffs? ”

See the Yankees almost every year the past 6-7 years. They have not had a good 1-4 rotation probably since 2003. I know a rotation is 5 starters, but when was the last time they had more than 3 starters who were good in it?

FrankFranciscoSaysTakeASeat
4 years 5 months ago

Yeah, but I don’t think the Rangers will get the benefit of “The Yankee Strike Zone.”

4 years 5 months ago

The only time recently I can think of that the Yankees had a great 1-4 would be in ’09, when they had Sabathia, Hughes, Pettitte, and a pretty-good-but-not-great Burnett.

MB923
4 years 5 months ago

Hughes started 7 games in 2009, he was then the set-up man for Mo eventually. Joba was their 4th starter and he was inconsistent the 2nd half and finished with an ERA+ of 97

4 years 5 months ago

Disregard my comment I have the memory of a dead squirrel.

Lunchbox45
4 years 5 months ago

In my opinion, Feliz should be moved to the pen.
CJ wilson and Lewis should be moved there as well..

You’d have a 7-8-9 of Lewis, Wilson, Feliz.. Would be the best bullpen in the game..

Sure they’d seldom have the lead to protect, but thats not important. The most important thing is never losing the lead in late innings.

4 years 5 months ago

I love the message you are trying to get across.

FrankFranciscoSaysTakeASeat
4 years 5 months ago

Please don’t e-mail this idea to Wash.

Lunchbox45
4 years 5 months ago

would it have made my post better if I added this pic?

FrankFranciscoSaysTakeASeat
4 years 5 months ago

Is it strange that I consider Ron Washington both my favorite and least favorite Rangers manager of all time?

Lunchbox45
4 years 5 months ago

Its actually not that strange at all

Gunner65
4 years 5 months ago

Can’t see Harang improving much in SD. His overall HRs % might fall, but his road woes have been his biggest problem the last two seasons.

2010……GS….W/L…ERA
Home:….14…..5-4…4.66
Away:….8…….1-3…6.61

2009……GS….W/L…ERA
Home:….12…..4-7…3.43
Away:….12…..2-7…5.13

4 years 5 months ago

The NL West in general is pretty pitchers friendly. To get out of the Central, to the NL West could have a decent impact. Not to mention he has had nagging injuries and was pitched into the ground in Cin. If he is healthy there is no reason he cannot improve on his numbers.

Gunner65
4 years 5 months ago

I like Harang and wish him the best, but I don’t see much more than what he has done the last 2 seasons from him. Can he improve? Sure … but the road woes say otherwise because he still has to pitch in Colorado as well as the rest of the N/L. Odds are not in his favor.

4 years 5 months ago

Getting out of the NL Central alone will improve his overall numbers. Career in the NL West parks, he has done well. However, I think one of is biggest problems was how many innings he was throwing in Cin. His career Co numbers are not off the charts bad. And ironically he has dominated in Chase Field.

Gunner65
4 years 5 months ago

He wasn’t over pitched in Cincy … one game 3 years ago he pitched on 3 days rest because of a game going into xtra innnings. Ever since then he pitched normal innings and pitch counts

4 years 5 months ago

Ummmm.. yes he was. Look his total number of IP for 2006-2007. Enough said.

seanb1223
4 years 5 months ago

If they had faith in anyone else to close, he would be a lock for the rotation.

FrankFranciscoSaysTakeASeat
4 years 5 months ago

And he improves them by using them in games. He’s close with both pitches. Honestly the change just needs to be a “show me” pitch at this stage. The cutter is one of the easiest pitches to learn. That’s why so many guys add it … sometimes in season. Scouts who have watched him say it’s already major league quality. He’s not Mariano Rivera with it yet, but it’s his third pitch. He’ll get more comfortable with the cutter and change as the season goes. I’d say given how far he’s come with it so fast, he’ll look like he’s thrown the cutter his whole life within the first month of the season.

My point is you make the move that gives you the best chance at being a WS contender by the end of the season.

FrankFranciscoSaysTakeASeat
4 years 5 months ago

He hasn’t gotten smacked around this spring and he’s thrown the cutter a good percentage of his pitches because he was working on getting comfortable with it. It’s already a good pitch. I’m going off the reports from scouts around the league and Nolan Ryan who said he had shown enough with three pitches to succeed in the rotation right now.

We really aren’t in that much of a disagreement here. We both view him as a starter — me right now, you in the very near future.

You don’t think he’s quite ready. That’s fine. I respect that reasoning way more than the “we need a closer” argument.

Truth be told, I actually would have preferred it if the Rangers had started him off this season in a middle relief role for a month or so, pitching two or three innings at a time once or twice a week. It would have limited his innings, allowed him to use all his pitches and continue to sharpen the secondary stuff and given them the opportunity to transition him to the rotation by midseason. It would have bought them a bit of time to add another bullpen piece by trade or promotion. Then we wouldn’t be stuck with Feliz on a serious innings limit in 2012, which is maybe my biggest beef in this whole situation.

But they were in an either or mode with starter or closer. I still say they made a mistake. Guess we’ll see.