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.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.