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.
Mets minor league outfielder and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow was recently promoted from Single-A Columbia to advanced Single-A St. Lucie. Critics suggested that, because Tebow wasn’t exactly lighting up competition with Columbia, the promotion was just about marketing.
Tebow, to his credit, has gotten off to a good start with St. Lucie. In his first at-bat with his new team, he hit a two-run home run, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead. The home run came on a 3-1 count against starter Junior Fernandez of the Palm Beach Cardinals. Fernandez is the Cardinals’ No. 10 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
With Columbia, Tebow was hitting a paltry .220/.311/.336 with three home runs and 23 RBI in 244 plate appearances.
The Cardinals announced on Wednesday that shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been optioned to Triple-A Memphis and infielder Alex Mejia’s contract has been purchased from Memphis.
Diaz, 26, impressed last season when he posted an .879 OPS and finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year balloting. This year has been rough on Diaz, as he’s batting .260/.293/.396 with seven home runs and 20 RBI in 288 plate appearances. He’s the second major Cardinals player to get sent down to the minors along with Randal Grichuk.
Diaz was surprised by the demotion. Via MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch:
Mejia, 26, opened the season with Double-A Springfield but was promoted to Triple-A two weeks ago. With Springfield, he hit .251/.305/.366 in 251 PA. In 42 PA with Memphis, he hit .263/.333/.289.