Scott Feldman had quite a day last week when he made a spot start to give Matt Harrison a break in the Texas Rangers starting rotation.
Quite a day to the tune of six innings (working on a strict pitch count) of two-hit ball against a hot-hitting Tampa Bay Rays team.
That's the same Scott Feldman that won 17 games in 2009, got a big contract, got injured and fell flat on his face in 2010 after being the Rangers' opening day starter.
After returning recently from said injury, Feldman has made less than 10 appearances this season out of the bullpen as the Rangers' long man, but was given a chance to spell Harrison and made the most of it.
Today, he'll do the same for Alexi Ogando, who was great for the Rangers for the first four months but has since hit a wall after more than tripling his previous career-high for innings pitched in a season since making the move from being the club's set-up man last season.
Another effective start for Feldman today, against that same Tampa Bay team, could go a long way in locking Feldman into a postseason rotation spot should the Rangers hold on to their 3 1/2 game lead over the Los Angeles Angels.
Ogando really has no chance of making the postseason rotation, and would likely move back into the bullpen for the playoffs. He has been awful this season against both the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, one of which would be the Rangers' first-round opponent.
So as it stands now, Colby Lewis would probably be the No. 4 starter in the Rangers' four-man playoff rotation, but if Feldman keeps this up (and expect him to spell the struggling Lewis at some point before the season ends) he could find himself as the No. 4 man with Lewis moving back to be the team's long man even though he was the Rangers' best postseason pitcher last season.
Of couse, the Rays might be more prepared for Feldman today and know more of what they'll be facing less than a week after being shut down by him in Arlington. So another great start from Feldman would be especially impressive.