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.
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It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.
Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.
Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Scioscia isn’t concerned.
“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”
Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.
After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.