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Thanks Durrett for this awesome informative article:
"LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It sure appears the Rangers are leaning toward putting Neftali Feliz in the starting rotation. They've said all along that they'd stretch Feliz out and see how he did in spring training and that remains the plan. But general manager Jon Daniels' comments seem to indicate the club really wants to give Feliz a shot and see what happens.
“We’ve talked about the idea of moving Feliz and [Alexi] Ogando and seeing what these guys can do as a starter,” Daniels said. “On one hand, it’s uncomfortable because you’re taking a known commodity out of the bullpen, but on the other hand, you look at the price of starting pitching on the free agent market versus the opportunity to acquire impact relief pitching.
“What’s the best use of our talent? What’s the best way to allocate our assets? Do I know definitely if Feliz can start and be an impact guy? No. But on some level, even if it’s a little uncomfortable, we owe to ourselves to find out. You can get relief pitching.”
Daniels knows Feliz has some work to do (so would Ogando) to become a solid starter. But he's willing to let him grow into it. He added that as of now, Feliz is still the closer, though things could change in spring training.
"We’re not there, but at some point we may commit to it," said Daniels about starting Feliz or Ogando. "We may say, ‘Hey, is it perfect? Are they finished products? No.’ But you look around the league and there’s a learning curve and a growth process that starting pitchers go through. If you don’t give them an opportunity to go through it, you don’t have an opportunity to find out. Can Feliz be a No.1 or No. 2 starter? I don’t know. He’s got some attributes that make you think he has that type of potential. We look at it that we want to walk through the process and make sure we know instead of looking up in three or four years and salarys escalated and you never found out."
So there you go. We'll see what happens in spring training, but don't be surprised to find Feliz in the rotation. What would that mean at closer? The club could go out and get someone or look at internal candidates. Frank Francisco and Derek Lowe have experience getting the final three outs and Ogando has some upside in that role as well."
The more public talk about it the better.
I think Daniels is trying to get the idea out there more often, since it sounds like Nolan Ryan is much more opposed to it at this point. Smart press usage.
Wash sounds like he'd rather have Feliz in the bullpen as well. One nice thing about having Lee and his usual 8 inning starts would be a fresher bullpen as Feliz gets his starter legs under him. Lewis and Wilson often run up pitch counts by the 6th, and Hunter and Holland can't be counted on to go over 6 too often.
No question this is the right call, regardless of Nolan or Wash's thoughts. Closers can be found. CLosers almost never go to the HOF for a reason. Aces cost $160million unless you grow them yourself. Feliz and Scheppers must get a chance to start.
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