Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections are a good measure of what to expect from players in the upcoming baseball season. We'll take a look at the Rangers' projections on a position-by-position basis. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.
Today we'll look at the projections for the Rangers at closer, which the Rangers hope will be locked down all season by veteran Neftali Feliz.
Feliz: 36 2/3 innings, 33 strikeouts, 15 walks, 4 home runs allowed, 3.93 ERA, 8.09 K/9 innings
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There's no other way to say it, but these projections are bad, bad news if they come anywhere close to coming to fruition. First off, when Feliz was a dominant closer, he approached 70 innings per season. He pitched 31 2/3 innings in 2014 and didn't make his Rangers debut until July.
So do the math, but these projections show Feliz spending a lengthy amount of time on the DL, or even worse, in the minors (gulp). His ERA is also really bad. The one positive you can take from this is his K/9 innings rate, which is closer to his 2010 and 2011 numbers than his 2014 number of 6.0, not befitting of a closer.