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Rangers Still Open To Starting Neftali Feliz

It had been talked about headed into the offseason if the Rangers failed to re-sign Cliff Lee, and apparently it's being talked about again: according to Jon Paul Morosi, the Texas Rangers are still open to the idea of moving 2010 Rookie of the Year award winner Neftali Feliz to the starting rotation. Morosi speculated that the Rangers would potentially sign free agent Rafael Soriano, stick him at closer, and move Feliz to the rotation. Now that Texas has signed Adrian Beltre, that won't be happening. 

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Still, Texas does boast a deep bullpen. Feliz should get a chance to compete for a spot in the rotation when Spring Training begins next month. Right now, C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis and Brandon Webb can be slotted into the rotation - and you can put about fifty asterisks next to Brandon Webb as well, since assuming health with him isn't something you can do. From there, Texas can choose from Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland, Scott Feldman and a bevy of others - hopefully including Feliz.

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Obviously, Feliz was awesome coming out of the bullpen. He could be even more valuable as a starter, pitching 180+ innings per year as opposed to 70-80. With Tanner Scheppers, Alexi Ogando, Frank Francisco et al. all in the fold for Texas' bullpen, it's worth a shot to see if Feliz can handle starting. If he can't, well, just move him back to the bullpen like the Red Sox did with Papelbon a few years back. 

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