Red Fever
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Feliz Getting Closer to Seizing Gig

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    NEWSLETTERS

    What Neftali Feliz does this year doesn't mean a hill of beans in terms of the actual result itself. If he blows a save, it doesn't hurt the Rangers in terms of standing or wins and losses, considering they're "aiming" to earn themselves a No. 1 draft pick next summer.

    But his results this year go well beyond wins and losses as the former AL Rookie of the Year and all-star closer is trying to regain his job as the Rangers closer after a failed starting experiment in 2012 led to Tommy John surgery.

    Feliz converted a second straight save in consecutive days on Monday night, closing out a 2-0 Rangers victory after a 3-1 win on Sunday, giving him seven saves in eight opportunities this year since reassuming closer duty when the Rangers dealt Joakim Soria to Detroit prior to the July 31 trade deadline.

    He has a 2.82 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings, not anything close to his heyday K ratios. The velocity isn't there like it used to be, but it's getting better as he's been consistently reaching into the mid-90s with his fastball after struggling to touch 90 this spring and even in some of his earlier appearances.

    Now, the Rangers are just looking for consistency from Feliz, who will throw 96 one day and turn around the next throwing his fastball 89 mph. Sometimes the discrepancy has even come within a single game. But the saves on back-to-back days for Feliz was a big deal, and had to be a huge confidence boost moving forward. Could he possibly work on three straight days? That'd be a true test, and we'll get a chance to see it on Tuesday night if the Rangers can get into a save opportunity.