In a season-ending countdown, we'll weigh in on some of the pleasant surprises for the Rangers in what was arguably the most disappointing season in franchise history.
No. 5: Neftali Feliz, RHP
2014 stats: 2-1, 1.99 ERA, 13 saves, 21 strikeouts, 11 walks, 31 2/3 innings pitched
Feliz lost the closer's gig in spring training, and started the year in Triple-A, where he stayed until a trip to Citi Field against the New York Mets on July 4th weekend. Then, he got a call-up as the team's closer, Joakim Soria, was dealt away to the Detroit Tigers in an official white flag move that signaled the beginning of the end for the Rangers' season.
At first, things were shaky for Feliz, who was still struggling to learn how to pitch without his 99-mph heater. He slowly began learning how to pitch and use his secondary stuff with more effectiveness, and the results were nice to see from the Rangers' perspective.
He pitched well enough since taking back the closer's role to put himself in a prime position to be the Rangers' closer again in 2015 after a failed experiment as a starter for the former AL Rookie of the Year.