In what will be a daily post, we'll talk about the upcoming season for the Texas Rangers and where guys fit in on the roster. It's almost baseball time!
He only appeared in 11 regular-season games in 2011, but Scott Feldman was a pretty key figure in the Texas Rangers' pitching picture last season. Feldman cleaned up some poor starts, namely one particularly poor one by Derek Holland that the Rangers were able to eventually come back and win after Feldman held down the fort in long relief. He also made two starts to give Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando an extra breather in the rotation, and was stellar in both.
In the postseason, he was nails until the World Series, when much of the Rangers' bullpen fell apart.
Feldman isn't the typical "long man" in the bullpen. The typical long man is someone you don't really want to see, but Feldman can play a bigger role in more pressure situations than the normal long man.
His 2011 was a welcomed sight for the Rangers to see after he struggled in 2010, partly due to injury and partly due to just not being what he was in 2009, when he won 17 games.
If all goes as planned for the Rangers, who were freakishly healthy in the rotation last season, look for Feldman to play a similar role to what he did for the latter part of 2011 after his return from injury. He could allow the Rangers to skip guys like Neftali Feliz if they need some extra time off between starts. But if things go as expected and a pitcher gets hurt and has to miss some significant time, Feldman is a good option to have as a stop-gap in the rotation.