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Closer Derby: Who Will It Be?

The Rangers could go back to an old friend to close out games

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Closer Derby: Who Will It Be?

Getty Images

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 20: Reflief pitcher Neftali Feliz #30 of the Texas Rangers is pulled from the game by Manager Ron Washington #38 after walking in the winning run during the 8th inning of the game at Kauffman Stadium on September 20, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals defeated the Rangers with a final score of 2-1. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Joe Nathan will not be back with the Rangers in 2014, leaving a void at the closer position. Fortunately, the Rangers have plenty of internal options.

Candidate 1: Neftali Feliz, RHP

2013 stats: 4 2/3 innings, 0.00 ERA, 0-0 record, 4 strikeouts, 2 walks

The former AL Rookie of the Year who saved 40 games in 2010 while helping lead the Rangers to their first World Series has had some ups and downs since that year. He was really solid as the team's closer in 2011 before his World Series implosion. In 2010, Feliz was transitioned to the rotation where he pitched pretty well before needing Tommy John surgery. He came back late in the season and looked pretty good despite the fact his velocity was still not what it was before the injury. That will get better and it seems the Rangers' plans for Feliz do not involve starting anymore. But with Scheppers and Joakim Soria on board, you'd have to think Feliz is a wild card to lock down the closer's role even though he does have experience in big games and has had success in the role.

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