SI Vault
 
THE NUMBERS
ALBERT CHEN
March 28, 2011
Close Call
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
March 28, 2011

The Numbers

View CoverRead All Articles

Close Call

A debate is raging in Rangers camp: The defending AL champs are torn about whether to move last year's AL Rookie of the Year, closer Neftali Feliz, from the bullpen to the rotation. CEO Nolan Ryan said last weekend that opinions in the organization remained split 50-50, even though Feliz has dazzled in a spring starter audition, mixing his high-90s fastball and slider with a new cutter. The problem is that there is no clear candidate to succeed Feliz as closer. Righthander Mark Lowe, 27, has been lit up this spring (14.14 ERA in seven innings), and righty Alexi Ogando, 27, has no career saves. "[Manager] Ron Washington has gotten very comfortable with Feliz getting the last three outs," says assistant G.M. Thad Levine. "But the highest-value player in the game is the premier starting pitcher."

1