The word used this week by two of the most important members of the Texas Rangers’ 2014 pitching staff to describe the health of their right arms gave reason for optimism. Talk, however, is cheap. No matter how “perfect” Neftali Feliz and Alexi Ogando said they feel when throwing off a mound fewer than three weeks from Rangers pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training, they have to prove that they are healthy and then stay that way. The Rangers’ success doesn’t entirely rest on the health of Feliz, who is intent on replacing Joe Nathan as closer, and Ogando, a key member of the projected rotation a year after three stints on the disabled list. But it certainly can’t hurt if they can pitch as well as they have in the past. And that’s their plan “My arm is perfect. When I threw in winter ball, my command was perfect,” Feliz said Tuesday after a workout at the Rangers’ Dominican academy. “I’ve tried to work hard to be ready to do my job as closer and go to the playoffs this year.” Getting Feliz into position to compete to be the club’s closer has been one of the Rangers’ top priorities this off-season. They pulled Mike Anderson away from his scouting duties in the Dominican to work with Feliz on some mechanical tweaks and tightening up his repertoire as he pitched for Toros del Este in the Dominican Winter League. Feliz pitched well in 10 appearances over 9 2/3 innings, posting a 2.79 ERA and walking only two. He struck out 11. He said his velocity was at its best late in this stint.
‘Perfect’ off-season for Rangers’ Feliz, Ogando
Fort Worth Star-Telegram | Jan 31