Ron Washington wants to keep Neftali Feliz in the bullpen

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In the wake of the Rangers missing out on re-signing Cliff Lee there’s been some speculation that they could fill his spot in the rotation with closer Neftali Feliz, who was primarily a starter in the minors and ranked among Baseball America‘s top 10 prospects as a starter in back-to-back years.

Yesterday manager Ron Washington indicated the shift is a possibility, but called it “a last resort” and made it very clear that he hopes to keep Feliz (and Alexi Ogando) in the bullpen:

I trust that Jon Daniels will find something to help us out. If that becomes a necessity, we’re fortunate we have that depth. If that does not become a necessity, we’ll keep those guys where they are.

In other words, he’s counting on general manager Jon Daniels acquiring another veteran starter, either through trade (Zack Greinke? Matt Garza?) or free agency (Carl Pavano?).

Zack Wheeler headed to IL due to shoulder fatigue

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Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler will be placed on the 10-day injured list due to fatigue in his right shoulder, Newsday’s Tim Healey reports. The roster move is retroactive to July 12. Steven Matz will open up a two-game series in Minnesota, starting in Wheeler’s place on Tuesday.

As Healey notes, the soonest Wheeler can return is July 23, which would give him at most two starts ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. Wheeler has frequently been brought up in trade conversations as he can become a free agent after the season and the 42-51 Mets have been freefalling.

Wheeler, 29, owns a 4.69 ERA with 130 strikeouts and 34 walks across 119 innings of work this season.