Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers settling rotation and bullpen slots


Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington announced a few “moves” today.

Tanner Scheppers appeared in 76 games last season, all in relief. He posted a record of 6-2 to go along with an ERA of 1.88 and a WHIP of 1.070. Doesn’t hurt to own a fastball that averages 96 mph either. It will be interesting to see if Sheppers can maintain that velocity as a starter.

During his time in the minors (2009-2012), Scheppers was used prominently as a reliever. He appeared in 95 games with only 12 starts. He also accumulated 19 saves.

For Joakim Soria, it’s a return to the spot that he once owned. You’ll see some of that in a bit.

Regarding Alexi Ogando, the life of fluctuating between the rotation and the bullpen continues. The only season where Ognado has worked exclusively as either a starter or reliever was his first as a Ranger in 2010 when he pitched as a reliever in 44 games.

Wait. There’s one name missing from Wilson’s tweet: Neftali Feliz. Wasn’t he the guy that was to take over for Joe Nathan as the closer?

Apparently, Feliz has not even secured a spot on the 25-man roster. Here’s Wash on the matter (via MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan):

Neftali hasn’t been pitching in two years,” Washington said. “Let it play out and see what happens. Neftali is healthy, now he has to win a job. He’s just not going to win the closer’s spot.

As far as any comparison between Soria and Feliz, that work was performed by commenter PlatypusFeatures. The period covered by the accompanying tables is 2009-11.

Saves Games IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 LOB% ERA FIP xFIP fWAR
Feliz 74 154 162.2 9.07 3.1 0.61 77.1% 2.55 3.1 3.74 4.2
Soria 101 173 179 10.06 2.46 0.8 82.3% 2.66 2.92 3.04 4.7

Save Ops Saves Blown Saves Save %
Feliz 84 74 10 88%
Soria 114 101 13 89%

Well, now. If the Soria from those years should happen to appear this season, the Rangers could have themselves a nice bullpen. It is worth noting that last season was the first for Soria after having a second Tommy John surgery prior to the 2012 season. Soria had the procedure in 2003 as well).

(Call to TexasRangers reddit)

Tags: Texas Rangers

  • Aaron Somers

    It’s worth noting that Feliz hasn’t looked effective this spring. He’s been inconsistent and most notably, his velocity has been down (at least 5 MPH on average). He might be healthy but he doesn’t look like the same pitcher – at least not yet.