Neftali Feliz appears on track to be activated Monday

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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.

Justin Verlander named ALCS MVP

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Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.

“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”

Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.

The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.