Neftali Feliz was on the Triple-A disabled list with arm soreness and inflammation as he struggled to come back from Tommy John elbow surgery, but now the former Rangers closer is healthy again and pitching well.
Feliz has thrown back-to-back scoreless appearances at Triple-A and has a 17/4 K/BB ratio in 16 innings overall. He’s had a couple ugly appearances that inflate his ERA to 4.02, but Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that his fastball is regularly being clocked at 92-96 miles per hour and suggests that he might already be back in the majors if not for the Rangers’ bullpen being crowded at the moment.
Prior to being shut down Feliz was one of the elite relievers in baseball, posting a 2.55 ERA and 164 strikeouts in 163 innings, and then he looked to be transitioning well into becoming a starter in 2012 before the injury struck. Velocity-wise it sounds like he’s still not quite back to his old self, but a Feliz throwing 92-96 miles per hour can certainly still be a big asset in the second half for Texas.
Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Tuesday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Former Phillies right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez died in a traffic accident in Havana on Thursday, per reports from the El Nuevo Herald and CiberCuba. No other deaths or injuries have been reported in connection to the accident. Gonzalez was 34 years old.
The Cuban righty defected from his home country in 2013 and signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Phillies. A bout of right shoulder tendinitis compromised his bid for a major league role, but he finally broke through to the big leagues at the tail end of the 2014 season and turned in a 6.75 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 in just six outings. Another case of shoulder inflammation derailed any progress he might have made in 2015, however, and he recorded just five innings in Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the team officially released him prior to the 2016 season.
The Phillies released a statement following news of Gonzalez’s death: