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)
Neftali Feliz has had a long road over the course of his relatively short professional baseball career.
An AL Rookie of the Year, an all-star closer and a coverted starter turned Tommy John patient, Feliz has experienced the ups and downs of a big-league pitcher and this week, he's facing another valley.
After he had seen his fastball finally get into the upper 90s in Triple-A Round Rock recently, Feliz was shut down due to what the club termed "general fatigue" and will head back to Arlington to get into a rehab program with the Rangers' medical staff.
"There is no real injury to report, except general fatigue," assistant general manager Thad Levine told MLB.com. "We're trying to deal with that so it doesn't manifest itself into a real injury. We feel he will be back on the mound soon. We don't see this as a prolonged situation."
That's a good thing to hear, but with Feliz's recent history, it's hard to think he's that far out of the woods. He hasn't pitched for Round Rock since April 16 and has appeared in five games for the Express. He has allowed two hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings, while striking out six, and posting a 1.59 ERA.
The Rangers would love nothing more than for Feliz to find himself again, but at this point, it's hard to put any kind of money on that happening.