Rangers reliever-turned-starter-turned-reliever Neftali Feliz made his 2013 debut against the Twins this afternoon, recording five outs, surrendering just one hit and recording two strikeouts. He came on in relief of starter Travis Blackley with two outs in the fifth. Against Darin Mastroianni, Feliz showcased all four of his pitches, including a fastball that touched 94 MPH, about the same level where it was last year.
Feliz went on the disabled list with an elbow injury last year after a start against the Astros on May 18. He underwent Tommy John surgery on August 1. Prior to his injury, he had compiled a 3.16 ERA in 42.2 innings spanning seven starts and one relief appearance.
The Rangers couldn’t muster much of an offensive attack as Twins starter Kevin Correia pitched seven solid innings. Reliever Jared Burton surrendered a solo home run to A.J. Pierzynski in the bottom of the eighth, but that was all. Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts to notch his 32nd save of the season.
The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.
Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.
As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.
Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.
The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”