Neftali Feliz, like many closers, relies heavily on his fastball velocity to get people out in the ninth inning. He doesn't have the secondary stuff to roll with an average fastball, but back in his prime in 2010 and 2011, he was working with upper 90s and sometimes triple-digit heat, and retiring batters with ease.
Now, that story has changed.
Feliz returned to the closer's role last summer and had his good days when he was hitting 96 or 97 mph, but then would turn around in his next outing and struggle to get above 90 mph with his fastball.
Other than the massively unproven, yet talented Keone Kela, the Rangers don't have any other solid closer candidates right now, so they really need Feliz to be able to hold down to job for the near future. The 2010 AL Rookie of the Year says you needn't worry about him.
“He says he feels good and is right where he needs to be,” Banister told reporters about Feliz, who has struggled to reach the mid 90s this spring. “Closers are different cats... I haven’t seen him yet in a real high octane situation yet to get a feel.”
Banister has to just trust Feliz because he doesn't know him well yet, but can Rangers fans trust him?