Ron Washington to Neftali Feliz: show me some fire

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At least he didn’t question his cojones.

Rangers manager Ron Washington wants a more intense Neftali Feliz on the mound the next time his team has a save situation, saying he wants to see some “fire” from the 23-year-old closer.

“I’d like to see more,” Washington told the Dallas Morning News. “When he comes in the game, I want to feel like it’s do or die. I try to tell him all the time how important those three outs are. I just don’t see that sense of urgency.”

Feliz seemed to get just how important they were last year, when he was 40-for-43 saving games. This year, Feliz is 20-for-25 after blowing a one-run lead and taking a loss Tuesday.

Feliz, speaking through an interpreter, didn’t think competitive spirit was an issue:

“Last year I was more nervous,” he said. “Now, I feel more relaxed. I know what I’m doing out there.”

But then again, maybe that’s the problem. Maybe Feliz is just a little too comfortable on the mound. And while Washington doesn’t have a reputation for head games, perhaps this is his way of trying to motivate Feliz.

And if that doesn’t work, may I suggest a hot foot?

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.