Texas Rangers

While Rangers' Bullpen Continues Implosion, Neftali Feliz Says He'll Never Start

Neftali Feliz will pitch Wednesday night in Frisco. But if it's up to him, he'll never pitch in the Rangers' starting rotation.

While Texas continues to blow games -- yesterday it was Darren Oliver allowing Hideki Matsui's 10th-inning homer in a 5-4 loss -- and erase the warm-n-fuzzies from the 9-1 start, its bullpen is getting worse by the inning. No Darren O'Day. No Closer. No way to logically explain losing five of six series since Josh Hamilton broke his arm -- other than bad baseball.

Too many errors (Elvis Andrus made his seventh yesterday). Not enough hitting (only regular over .300 is Michael Young). And a spotty bullpen, led by 40-somethings Oliver (1-3) and Arthur Rhodes not getting timely outs and Monday both allowing homers.

Feliz is on the way, via Frisco, and he'll save the bullpen and hopefully more games starting Friday in Arlington when he comes off the disabled list and the Yankees come to town.

But after being stretched out in spring training as a possible starter, the guy who last year set a rookie record with 40 saves says he's done starting. Before his first start.

"I spent most of spring training as a starter and I enjoyed it," Feliz told USA Today on Sunday. "But I'm a closer now, and God willing I'll remain a closer the rest of my career. I made the decision that I won't start anymore."

Not sure it's up to God, but more so Nolan Ryan. Close enough.

Are we cool with this? Players telling coaches how they'll be used, that is. I mean, could Felix Jones tell the Cowboys "My days as a full-time running back are over. Only third-down snaps for me"?

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt