ESPN's Dan Szymborski is a computer and stat guru, and we love getting a look at his projections. Here are his numbers for the 2014 Texas Rangers.
Player: Neftali Feliz, RHP
Last year: 0.00 ERA, 0-0 record, 4 2/3 innings, 4 strikeouts, 2 walks
2014 projections: 3.65 ERA, 37 innings, 35 strikeouts, 18 walks
It's no secret, Neftali Feliz has the Texas Rangers closer job in his back pocket. It's also no secret that if Feliz falters early the Rangers have plenty of options to fall back on, including Tanner Scheppers, Joakim Soria and even Alexi Ogando.
The former AL Rookie of the Year earned that award in 2010 by putting up a club record 40 saves and famously striking out A-Rod on a sick hook to clinch the Rangers their first AL pennant in club history. He was converted to the starting rotation in 2012 and pitched pretty well before injuring his elbow and needing the good ol' Tommy John surgery. He rehabbed and rehabbed and finally made his return to the big-league mound in September last season and looked decent but couldn't find his velocity of old.
That's what he's working on now, and the Rangers want him to be able to seize the job again. Looking at the projections, it appears the ZiPS computers don't think he will with only 37 innings.