No decision has been made yet regarding Neftali Feliz’s role, but the Rangers announced today that Alexi Ogando will remain a reliever after trying out for a rotation spot alongside Feliz this spring.
Feliz was a full-time starter for most of his minor-league career, whereas Ogando has started a grand total of three games as a professional, so keeping him in the bullpen makes plenty of sense after he went 4-1 with a 1.30 ERA and 39/16 K/BB ratio in 42 innings as a rookie.
In fact, if the Rangers move Feliz into the rotation I think there’s a pretty good chance Ogando will emerge as their closer at some point this season. Or at least he should. Ogando has electric raw stuff, with a fastball that averaged 96.3 miles per hour last year, and has racked up 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings between the minors and majors.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central
Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?
As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East
The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.
There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.
Here’s how each team breaks down:
New York Mets