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Neftali Feliz May Move To Rotation, Jon Heyman Says

Hardly breaking news, but the Rangers may consider moving American League Rookie of the Year award winner Neftali Feliz to the starting rotation if they are unable to re-sign Cliff Lee this winter according to Jon Heyman. 

Feliz has not made any starts in the major league and was last a starter in 2009 in the minors when he made 13 starts with AAA Oklahoma City. He was converted to a reliever during that season and pitched in relief with the Rangers in 2009 and 2010, setting the rookie saves record in 2010 as the Rangers closer after he earned the job over Frank Francisco.


Feliz should be given a chance to be a starting pitcher regardless if the Rangers are able to retain Lee. Having him as a potential top of the rotation pitcher is more valuable than in the closers role - even if he is dominant as a closer. If Feliz struggles as a starter at the Major League level, then you can move him back to closer. It's not dissimilar to what the Red Sox did with Jonathan Papelbon during spring training in 2007, though Papelbon wanted to remain a closer and ultimately did.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.