Neftali Feliz has made it through long-toss sessions in each of the last two days after leaving Tuesday’s start against the Cubs due to shoulder stiffness, but the Rangers plan to be extra cautious before clearing him to pitch in a game again.
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Feliz will not make his next scheduled start Monday against the Reds. The Rangers haven’t ruled him out for the start of the season, but it’s increasingly unlikely he’ll have enough time to be fully-stretched out. And there’s little reason to take any chances considering he’s making the transition to the starting rotation this spring.
Scott Feldman is now scheduled to make the start Monday and figures to be the stopgap option for the rotation if Feliz is forced to miss the first few weeks of the season. Alexi Ogando has returned to the bullpen, but he could be an option if Feliz’s shoulder issue ends up being more severe than originally believed.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.
The Kansas City Royals have signed starter Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.
Duffy was arbitration eligible this offseason and would’ve been a free agent next winter if he hadn’t signed the deal. Given his stuff he might’ve made a mint as a free agent, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and any pitcher is an injury away from losing a payday, making this a nice, lucrative bet for the lefty.
Duffy, 28, posted a 3.51 ERA and a 188/42 K/BB ratio across 179.2 innings in 2016.