Neftali Feliz has spent all season at Triple-A due to struggles coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery, but the Rangers feel he’s ready for the majors and called up the once-dominant closer.
Feliz racked up 31 strikeouts in 28 innings at Triple-A, but he also walked eight batters and served up six homers on the way to a 3.14 ERA. That includes eight consecutive scoreless outings in which Feliz held opponents to a .071 batting average and nine strikeouts compared to one walk.
Odds are Feliz will probably be eased into the bullpen mix with some low-leverage work initially, but he could find himself in a late-inning role eventually.
According to MLB.com associate reporter Jarrid Denney, right-hander Michael Pineda threw off a mound Wednesday morning at Target Field for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Pineda was signed to a two-year, $10 million free agent contract this winter by the Twins, who are probably more focused on what he might be able to do in 2019 rather than 2018.
He had the reconstructive elbow surgery last July 18, so he won’t be an option for the Minnesota rotation until probably late August or September of this year. Still, that deal seems like a nice gamble given the price point and the possibility that he will regain his form as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter. That he’s making steady progress in his rehab makes the situation all the more encouraging.
Pineda, 29, holds a 4.05 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 687 strikeouts in 680 career major league innings.