The Rangers are hoping that Neftali Feliz can retake the closer’s role after Joe Nathan departed for the Tigers, but according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, his mechanics are “out of whack” in the early going. Grant writes that Feliz is not getting his arm extended enough to generate velocity, which is Feliz’s calling card.
If the Rangers aren’t happy with Feliz’s performance in spring training, Joakim Soria could wind up as the closer. Soria missed all of the 2012 and more than half of the 2013 season after recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He finished with a 3.80 ERA in 23 2/3 innings with the Rangers between July and September last season. From 2007-10, he was one of baseball’s elite closers with the Royals.
Manager Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox expires after the season, but the club will offer him a new contract if he wants to stay in Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.
Ventura’s five seasons at the helm of the White Sox haven’t gone well. The club has crossed the 80-win threshold only once, in his first season back in 2012. Entering the final five games of the season, Ventura has a 373-432 record (463) overall.
The White Sox have also had a handful of controversies under Ventura’s watch, including the fiasco concerning Adam LaRoche and his son Drake, as well as Chris Sale‘s displeasure with wearing retro uniforms. Ventura is not exactly a fan favorite, either. It’s interesting that the White Sox want to keep him around, to say the least.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com just tweeted that the Cubs will soon announce a five-year contract extension for president Theo Epstein. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that it’s worth in excess of $50 million.
He’s earned it. When he took over the Cubs in October, 2011 the Cubs were a last place team with an aging roster and a front office that was several years behind the state of the art in every conceivable way. Last year the Cubs made the playoffs and this year they are baseball’s best team by a large margin and the franchise looks poised to continue its success for some time.
So, yeah, I’d say locking Theo up is a good idea.