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.
The Orioles announced, prior to Sunday’s game against the Yankees, that the club signed pitcher Tommy Hunter to a major league contract. In related roster moves, the club recalled pitcher Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and designated pitcher T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment.
The Indians released Hunter on Thursday after he struggled in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Hunter was recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. The right-hander put up a respectable 3.74 ERA with a 17/5 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings for the Indians.
This will be Hunter’s second stint with the Orioles. The O’s had acquired him along with first baseman Chris Davis at the trade deadline from the Rangers in 2011 in the Koji Uehara trade.
The Orioles are only responsible for paying Hunter the prorated major league minimum.
Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.
Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.
Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.