When the Rangers placed Neftali Feliz on the disabled list last week, they said his injury was minor. They said he’d be back within two weeks.
So far, it looks like they’re going to be right.
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Feliz was cleared to begin a throwing program on Wednesday morning and played catch comfortably at a distance of 90 feet in the afternoon.
The 22-year-old closer is eligible to return to the Rangers’ bullpen on May 6 and the Texas training staff is confident that he will be ready to rock by then.
Feliz has a 1.08 ERA through eight relief appearances this season and has successfully converted his first five save opportunities. Darren Oliver and Arthur Rhodes have been handling the ninth inning in his absence.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.