The Red Sox have signed Michael Feliz to a minor league contract, according to MLB.com’s official transactions page. The right-hander will report to Triple-A Worcester. Feliz hit the open market earlier this week after being released by the Reds.
The 28-year-old hasn’t pitched in a big league game since June 6, after a right elbow sprain landed him on Cincinnati’s 60-day injured list. Between this absence and an earlier IL visit (due to a cracked fingernail) when he was a member of the Pirates organization earlier this season, Feliz has appeared in only 16 games this season, with an 8.79 ERA over 14 1/3 combined innings with the Pirates and Reds.
With an even 30% strikeout rate over 241 innings in The Show, Feliz’s ability to miss bats has never been in question. Staying healthy, avoiding walks, and delivering consistent results has been another matter entirely, as Feliz has only a 5.38 ERA while appearing in parts of seven MLB seasons. He began his career with the Astros from 2015-17, so should he make Boston’s active roster, he’ll find a familiar face in former Houston bench coach and current Red Sox manager Alex Cora.
The Sox will become the latest team to see if they can harness Feliz’s prodigious strikeout ability, and for the cost of just a minor league deal, there’s no real risk on Boston’s part. Despite his 5.38 career ERA, Feliz’s SIERA is over two runs lower at 3.35, so there is some measure of misfortune involved in his performance. That said, Feliz hasn’t helped his cause with a 9.9% career walk rate and a 15.6% career home run rate.