My Trip to Rangers Fan Fest: Neftali and C.J. 2010 Starters?
It was 28 degrees. Sky was gray. Grass was morose mustard. Calendar said Super Bowl more than Opening Day.
But, hey, it was baseball. Spring can't be far behind.
I've been to several Rangers Fan Fests out in Arlington and Saturdays certainly had a different feel. As in, positive.
Gone were the questions about Tom Hicks' spotty ownership or a lack of talent or how the hell to get out Vladimir Guerrero.
Instead, main topic of the day was how to maximize an abundance of pitching. According to general manager Jon Daniels, one of the solutions may be to turn bullpen aces C.J. Wilson and Neftali Feliz into starters.
"We'll stretch them out in the spring to around 6 innings and by mid-March we'll make the call whether to pursue making them starters or continue in the bullpen," Daniels said out at Rangers Ballpark. "No doubt they can both be dominant out of the bullpen but we owe it to ourselves to see if they can be a No. 1 or No. 2 starter long term. They've both got that kind of ability."
Tough call if you ask me. Would you prefer slam-the-door relievers, Wilson the set-up man in the 8th and Feliz a 100-mph closer in the 9th? Or would you like two lively arms who might give you 200 quality innings instead of 70?
"We're going to take a long look at it, and if they don't make the transition this year then maybe it's next year," Daniels said. "We think they can make the sort of positive jumps similar to Ryan Dempster and Adam Wainwright."
Where to put all this talent? Toldja times are a changin' out in Arlington.
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