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?


blog comments powered by Disqus