Neftali Feliz is almost ready to pitch again in Triple-A

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Remember Neftali Feliz? Well, he’s been shut down for the past month due to general soreness and fatigue, but Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that he is likely to be activated with Triple-A Round Rock tomorrow.

Feliz is still trying to get back to 100 percent from his Tommy John surgery in 2012. The 26-year-old right-hander was in the mix for the Rangers’ closer role during spring training, but he was demoted to Triple-A after he showed diminished velocity and had issues recovering from one outing to the next. He allowed one run and struck out six over 5 2/3 innings before going on the disabled list last month, but he still had issues with his velocity and didn’t pitch on consecutive days. The hope is that the rest will get him back on track physically.

Once considered among the game’s best young pitchers, Feliz compiled a 2.55 ERA and 74 saves over his first three seasons in the majors before the Rangers moved him to the rotation in 2012. He pitched in just eight games (seven starts) before undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Brandon Morrow shut down for the rest of the season

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Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.

It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.

Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.

Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.