A lot can change in seven days.
Neftali Feliz said just one week ago that he would prefer to remain in the bullpen, but he was singing a very different tune after tossing four innings of one-run ball against the Dodgers this afternoon.
According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Feliz is now on board with the idea of being a starting pitcher.
“That’s what we’re working for,” he said. “Right now, [his goal] is to start.”
What changed his mind? Well, Feliz has newfound confidence in his cutter, a pitch which expands his arsenal and could help him navigate tough American League lineups. The 22-year-old right-hander also had a conversation with Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux last week, where he may or may not have been informed about how much more money he could make as a starting pitcher in the long run.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.