Poll: Neftali Feliz’s 2011 Role

The extended experiment may be coming to an end. The Rangers seem likely to return Neftali Feliz to the bullpen for the 2011 season and end his spring stint as a starter.

The 22-year-old was last year's AL Rookie of the Year as the Rangers closer, when he saved 40 games and posted a 2.73 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 69 1/3 innings. Given those results, the Rangers' lack of shutdown relievers besides Feliz and their manager's desire for a proven closer, it's easy to see why the Rangers would return Feliz to the 'pen for at least one more year.

On the other hand, elite starters are harder to come by than elite relievers and they're on the mound for three times as many innings as most closers. Feliz's secondary offerings may not be finely tuned, but it stands to reason that they won't get any sharper if he's only pitching one inning at a time. You can make the argument that the Rangers should use Feliz as a starter and make do with their current bullpen or trade for an extra reliever.

What role would you assign Feliz for 2011 if you were in GM Jon Daniels' position?


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37 Comments on "Poll: Neftali Feliz’s 2011 Role"


wild05fan
4 years 4 months ago

Deserves to be the starter since that’s what he was groomed through the minors to do, but I understand their decision in this regard if they’re just going to wait another year. It’s also a very good situation that Feliz doesn’t care either way.

Jeffy25
4 years 4 months ago

Starter, 200 innings a season vs 50.

Worked w wainwright, he is more valuable as a starter

mauerfan
4 years 4 months ago

If the Rangers want to get the max value out of him they would start him. Common sense I think.

MadmanTX
4 years 4 months ago

Trick question. Feliz can be a starting pitcher, but…the Rangers need an effective closer and perhaps the question is right now, where is Feliz needed more? The Rangers have enough guys to fill the starting rotation behind Wilson and Lewis. Harrison is pitching great. Hunter and Kirkman can be your 4th and 5th with Ogando and Holland available as spot starters.

ColoradoBravesFan
4 years 4 months ago

If Feliz can be a #2 or 3 starter he should be in the rotation. Just survive in the bullpen until close to the trade deadline. There will be teams that are out of the race by June who would trade their closer. Bell from Padres if they are out of it.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

Why stop at diminishing him to a a role in the bullpen?

Pretty sure he’d be an awesome bat boy, probably the best bat boy in the league.

Sure he’d be more useful to the team pitching, but that doesn’t matter.

4 years 4 months ago

He’s blocked at bat boy. That’s where they put their new stud prospect. Think man, think.

$1529282
4 years 4 months ago

I thought they were grooming Michael Young to be the bat boy…

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

he said he won’t do it until they rename the position bat princess

MaineSox
4 years 4 months ago

And they have to glue a tiara to his helmet.

55saveslives
4 years 4 months ago

Top the line starter is more valuable than top of the line closer. 2+2 =

4 years 4 months ago

True, but an Albert Pujols type hitter is more valuable still. Why don’t they just convert him into one of those?

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

because they need him to fill in as a pinch-hitter off the bench late in games. it’s more important because it’s later in the game, see

4 years 4 months ago

You’re being retarded. If you pinch hit him early in the game, like say first inning, then you’ve put your best foot forward.

rockfordone
4 years 4 months ago

Who cares – make him a long man. Compromise

4 years 4 months ago

Keep Feliz in the rotation. I’m guessing Bobby Jenks would approve a trade before June 15th for another shot at the 9th. Catching + to Boston? The Sox get to move him before he gives them any trouble, create some deadline flexibility, get further catching protection and get to hang on to an Albers or have Aceves start the season w/ the team.

4 years 4 months ago

Closer can never be close to as valuable as a good starter. The only reason you move a good starter to a closer is injury.

Guest
4 years 4 months ago

I think they should keep moving him back and forth from the pen to the rotation – it worked for Joba.

JacksTigers
4 years 4 months ago

There have been a handful of guys who struggled making the transition from starter to closer and back to starter. It is a very different feeling. I’m afraid if they move him back, he may never fullfill his full potencial.

DK8
4 years 4 months ago

I am certain that he will not fulfill his potential if they keep him in the bullpen…

JacksTigers
4 years 4 months ago

Personaly, I think he is a better closer than a starter but that’s just me.

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

a lot of good starting pitchers would probably be even better closers. so that’s kinda meaningless

MaineSox
4 years 4 months ago

Dood! Lester can be our closer after Paps walks. That would be fricking sweet!

AmIJeremy
4 years 4 months ago

In all honesty, I think this is a good move for this year. They have plenty of young starters that are doing well this spring. He still needs to fine tune his secondary pitches. Unless they can get a legitimate closer, keep him in the ‘pen for another year. The beginning of last year showed how a struggling closer can affect games (Frankie Francisco). I’ve loved Feliz as a starter in the spring, but he’s still young, why rush him along. They took their time with CJ Wilson and he was the Rangers’ ace last season.

northsfbay
4 years 4 months ago

The bullpen is not important? Tell that to the D’Backs.

Guest
4 years 4 months ago

Maybe Michael Young can field on the mound

(EDIT: Didn’t mean to post this as a reply to you.. which may be obvious)

vonhayesdays
4 years 4 months ago

he is kind of a two pitch pitcher not many of them become dominant starter whether he can develop some of them other pitches remains to be seen , id say stick with closer we all know your good at that

Sky14
4 years 4 months ago

He was pretty damn good as a starter in the minors except he never pitched more than 127 innings. A lot more valuable as a starter than a closer. Texas doesn’t have any clear cut options besides him but if your going to make him a starter it is now or never, the situation reminds me of Papelbon after his first year as a closer.

DK8
4 years 4 months ago

Given that Jenks was recently nontendered and that Papelbon would be nontendered by at least half the teams in the league, it’s clear they should make him a starter.

Elite closers don’t necessarily grow on trees, but in the best case scenario you end up paying a crapload of money to guys who have relatively little impact on the outcome of the game. And given that it is much easier to find guys who can close successfully than start, he should be a starter. Even if Feliz is just an “above average” starter, the combination of an “above average” starter and a mediocre closer is likely to be more valuable than a mediocre starter and an elite reliever.

I mean, the gap between elite closers and mediocre ones is just not very large.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
4 years 4 months ago

badly worded poll. He definitely belongs on the rotation, but the Rangers will probably keep him in the pen.

jwsox
4 years 4 months ago

no matter how you look at it 200 innings(even 150-180 if they start him at that limit) is much much much more valuable to a team than at max 70 innings. They have at least 2 guys in their pen that can close. Feliz was drafted to be an ace it would be smarter for the team to try it now then after next season. If he fails or if the team thinks he failed then move him back to closer. If he is a good starter then it gives them room to make a trade with their other starters.

4 years 4 months ago

Having Hunter or Kirkman in the rotatin instead of Feliz will cost you more games than using the second best closer option instead fo Feliz.

SlyderZ
4 years 4 months ago

No GM pays big money for a ‘big closer’. The payoff is nominal (2% win difference etc) over an ‘ave closer’. A starter commands big money for a simple reason… production. Add it up~
70-80 innings or over 160-200+? Not in 2011? He can work on his secondary pitches between a 5 day start. How long does that take? What a waste as a closer. Right, hope that the Ace is there at ASB, like Cliff Lee. Can you say overpay once again? Better get Feliz ready for August run. Makes better sense and you get to keep all the A+ prospects.