Inbox: Should Feliz be Texas' closer?
Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan answers Rangers fans' questions
Why isn't Neftali Feliz the closer? He is pitching better than Frank Francisco or C.J. Wilson. What are they waiting for?
-- Jose P., Fort Worth, Texas
Many inquiries were received along these lines. People, for all the teeth-gnashing out there, the Rangers still have the second-fewest blown saves in the American League. Feliz is 21, he has been in the big leagues for a month and he has never experienced the pressure of closing. The club was hoping to break him in slowly, although he is certainly accelerating the process. Given the extremely high state of anxiety fans seem to have over Francisco and Wilson, it still seems premature to thrust Feliz into that role right now.How did Scott Kazmir get to the Angels? Could not the Rangers block that trade and why didn't they?
-- Paul F., Fort Worth, Texas
The Rangers could have claimed Kazmir before the Angels. He is signed for two more years for at least $22.5 million. If Texas had claimed him, the Rays could have simply said, "He is all yours" and left the Rangers to pay his contract for the next two years. It was a possibility Texas could not risk.Why does it seem that the Rangers are doing nothing to bolster their lineup (pitching and hitting)? It seems like every year Anaheim is doing whatever it takes to add a good bat or good arm for down the stretch.
-- Matt N., Waco, Texas
Ivan Rodriguez seems to be doing quite nicely with the Rangers. The best late-season move the Angels made in the past few years was bringing up reliever Francisco Rodriguez from the Minor Leagues in 2002. The hardest part for Texas is not being in a position to be able to take on significant salary.What are the chances Scott Feldman is a candidate for the AL Cy Young Award? I'm looking at his stats and I see the best winning percentage of those with 12 or more wins as well as the 11th-lowest ERA. Still, he lacks strikeouts and innings pitched (although he has almost as many games started).
-- Kevin T., Atlanta, Ga.
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Unfortunately for Feldman, he is about three to four starts behind the other contenders because he started the season in the bullpen. The lack of innings and strikeouts will also be held against him. Maybe if he has a spectacular September ...Will Feldman be in the running for Comeback Player of the Year?
-- Adam D., Sherman, Texas
He shouldn't be. He's had a terrific season and has improved significantly with each season, but comeback means being great once, then really bad, and then great again.What are the chances of the Rangers re-signing Rodriguez next year?
-- Bobby Y., Hugo, Okla.
It's something that has to be considered, given that Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be coming off shoulder surgery and Taylor Teagarden still has plenty of room for improvement.What kind of deal would it take to keep Marlon Byrd, and if the Rangers do keep him, how do you see the playing time breaking down next year in regards to who will get the bulk of the starts in the outfield positions?
-- Jacob P., Hebron, Texas
Maybe three years and $12-15 million, which would seem reasonable, but perhaps challenging for the Rangers. If Byrd does come back, it would be pretty much a rotation of Josh Hamilton, David Murphy, Nelson Cruz, Julio Borbon and Byrd rotating through three outfield spots and the designated hitter role.When do you see Martin Perez making his way into the rotation, even though he's only 18?
-- Travis W., Amarillo, Texas
Perez has struggled some at Double-A Frisco, going 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA. The Rangers should have enough pitching depth to give Perez at least one more season in the Minor Leagues.Ian Kinsler went on the DL for his hamstring issue. I think we all noticed how superb Omar Vizquel did after replacing him. Despite his age, are there any talks about maybe one more year for Vizquel?
-- Adam W., Allen, Texas
The Rangers would love to have him back. But in watching him play, somehow you still get the feeling that Vizquel should be playing regularly for somebody.If the Rangers make the playoffs, will all the games be shown on My27 so the people without cable can watch them?
-- Tom L., Dallas
The first round will be on TBS only. No over-the-air broadcasts. The next two rounds are on FOX.Besides Michael Young and Ian Kinsler, who else is signed for next year ?
-- William H., Dallas
At this moment, nobody. Kevin Millwood's $12 million contract for next year becomes guaranteed if he pitches 13 more innings. That seems like a lock unless some higher authority deems otherwise. But nobody else is signed for next season, although most of the young players are under the Rangers' control and aren't going anywhere.What Rangers players will attend the Super Bowl when it takes place in Arlington?
-- Ampelio M., Garland, Texas
Given the prices, probably only the ones who are making over $5 million a year.Are there any career opportunities for someone who is 24 years old and an avid Rangers fan? I love everything associated with player development and statistics. I'll do whatever it takes to get into this franchise.
-- Nick S., Fort Worth, Texas
How do you feel about buying the team?Seriously, if you are interested in a job in baseball, the best way is to attend the job fair held every year in December at the Winter Meetings. This year it is in Indianapolis. Do you think there is any chance to sign Vicente Padilla for next season, if the Dodgers let him go? If the Rangers don't, I think they will be cursed forever.
-- Jaime M., Managua, Nicaragua
You mean they aren't already?
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.