Neftali Feliz has been out all season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, but he’s on track to be activated by the Rangers after rosters expand on Sunday. The 25-year-old right-hander confirmed as much this afternoon by writing on his Twitter account that he’s en route to Oakland, where the Rangers will begin an important three-game series on Monday.
Feliz had a minor setback in his rehab earlier this month due to triceps tendinitis, but he has tossed eight scoreless innings with Triple-A Round Rock since returning to action. During that time, he has impressively struck out nine batters while allowing three hits and no walks. While he tossed three innings last night, the Rangers are planning to use him as a reliever in the short-term. Feliz figures to get another chance to start next spring, but he could still play an important role for the first-place Rangers down the stretch and during a possible postseason run.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.