Scott Feldman on demotion to bullpen: “I’m not happy”

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Scott Feldman began the season as a long reliever, shifted to starting again when injuries struck the Rangers’ rotation, and is now headed back to the bullpen thanks to Roy Oswalt’s impending arrival.

And he’s not happy about the constantly changing role, telling Sarah Trotto of ESPN Dallas:

It’s just tough to keep going back and forth. That’s the main thing. Moving back and forth, it’s how you hurt your arm. It’s how you get hurt. I’m not happy. Basically, telling me that I’m not in the plans for the second time this year, spring training and then now, that’s fine, if I’m not in their plans. But it doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it.

There’s certainly some truth behind what Feldman is saying, but he’s the one who blew a chance to remain in the rotation by going 1-6 with a 6.43 ERA in eight starts. Had he gone 6-1 with a 3.43 ERA or even 3-4 with a 4.43 ERA the Rangers likely would be sticking with him as a starter instead of choosing to keep Double-A call-up Justin Grimm in the rotation alongside Oswalt instead.

Dating back to the beginning of 2010 he has a 10-18 record and 5.35 ERA in 215 total innings, which leaves Feldman little room to complain about much of anything and little reason to criticize the Rangers for treating him like someone no longer in their long-term plans. He’s only on the team because of a two-year, $11.5 million contract extension signed coming off a career-year in 2009. The Rangers are probably “not happy” with how things have gone since then either.

Bryce Harper played some third base in an intrasquad game

Bryce Harper third base
Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.

Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.

Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”

Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.

Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.