Neftali Feliz won’t make his next scheduled start Monday

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Neftali Feliz has made it through long-toss sessions in each of the last two days after leaving Tuesday’s start against the Cubs due to shoulder stiffness, but the Rangers plan to be extra cautious before clearing him to pitch in a game again.

T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Feliz will not make his next scheduled start Monday against the Reds. The Rangers haven’t ruled him out for the start of the season, but it’s increasingly unlikely he’ll have enough time to be fully-stretched out. And there’s little reason to take any chances considering he’s making the transition to the starting rotation this spring.

Scott Feldman is now scheduled to make the start Monday and figures to be the stopgap option for the rotation if Feliz is forced to miss the first few weeks of the season. Alexi Ogando has returned to the bullpen, but he could be an option if Feliz’s shoulder issue ends up being more severe than originally believed.

Report: Rangers sign Jeff Mathis to two-year deal

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The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.

Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.

The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.