After allowing three runs over six innings and hitting a homer in his return from Tommy John surgery last Thursday against the Giants, Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez was flat-out dominant tonight against the Reds.
Fernandez struck out nine batters over seven scoreless innings as part of a 2-0 victory. He was very efficient, scattering six hits while walking none and throwing 72 out of 94 pitches for strikes. According to Brooks Baseball, he had 23 swinging strikes, which is pretty amazing even if you ignore that it was only his second start back.
Fernandez is now undefeated through the first 22 home starts of his career. In case it wasn’t already obvious, he’s special.
UPDATE: Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that Feliz has elected free agency. Teams shied away from claiming him because of his remaining salary, but he should draw plenty of interest now that he’s free to sign anywhere. It’s also worth noting that he’s arbitration-eligible for 2016.
6:26 p.m. ET: 29 teams passed on Rangers right-hander Neftali Feliz, as Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the former American League Rookie of the Year Award winner went through waivers unclaimed. He can choose whether to accept an outright assignment to the minors or opt for free agency.
Feliz was recently designated for assignment by the Rangers after posting a disappointing 4.58 ERA and 16/9 K/BB ratio over 19 2/3 innings this season. The 27-year-old began the year in the closer role, but Rangers manager Jeff Banister moved away from him in mid-May and Shawn Tolleson has since emerged as the team’s top option.
While Feliz still has the name recognition based on his early promise, he hasn’t been the same pitcher since his Tommy John surgery in 2012. He’s still owed a little over $2 million for the remainder of the season, so it’s not all that surprising that nobody took a chance on him.
There was some speculation earlier this week that Braves first-round pick Kolby Allard would honor his oral commitment to UCLA rather than begin his professional baseball career, but we can put any such talk to rest:
According to Keith Law of ESPN, Allard will receive a bonus of $3,042,000. This is $200,000 over the slot value for the No. 14 overall pick. The 17-year-old left-hander likely would have been picked higher if it wasn’t for a back injury which has since healed, so the Braves paid up in order to get him in the fold.
Now that the Braves and Allard have come to an agreement, No. 1 pick Dansby Swanson (selected by the Diamondbacks) is the lone remaining player in the top 15 picks who has yet to sign. July 17 is the signing deadline for amateur draft picks.