Inbox: Will Feliz become a starter in 2012?
Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan answers fans' questions
Now that the Rangers have bullpen help, could Neftali Feliz be moved to the rotation next year? Mike Adams is only 33 and is under contract through 2012, so I could see him as a possible fit for closer because his numbers are obviously good.
-- Logan L., Arlington
Who knows what the Rangers will do six months from now, but my best guess is Feliz will move to the rotation next year. There are many in the organization who want that to happen, the Rangers will be more prepared to make it happen, and Feliz -- pure guess here -- will be more willing to try it next spring after taking some lumps as a closer this season. Obviously, he'll have to develop his secondary pitches, but those are there. He just needs to break them out more often and will be able to do that as a starter.What are the odds that the Rangers make a serious run at Yu Darvish? Realistically, how much would it cost Texas to bid on his services, and eventually sign the guy?
-- Ed M., Fort Worth, Texas
The Red Sox had to come up with $103 million to sign Daisuke Matsuzaka: $51 million just to earn the right to negotiate with him plus a six-year, $52 million contract to get him in uniform. Darvish could soar past that. If he is posted this offseason, there is little doubt that the Rangers will submit a bid. They bid $39 million for Matsuzaka.Please tell me why manager Ron Washington will not make Mike Napoli our primary catcher? Not only does he provide a lot more offensively, he provides more defensively as well.
-- Ty C., Lubbock, Texas
Right now, it doesn't matter. With Adrian Beltre on the disabled list, the Rangers need both Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba in the lineup, and they have made for an effective right-handed combination at the bottom of the order. As far as who is the No. 1, when the temperatures are hovering above 100 degrees every night, splitting time behind the plate is the only way to keep both strong through Dante's Inferno.
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C.J. Wilson is a really good pitcher, definitely worth doing the necessary contract work to keep him here for the foreseeable future. But for the life of me, why doesn't the organization insist that he develop some techniques to hold runners on base?
-- Keith G., Hamilton, Texas
Wilson is left-handed, a good athlete, intelligent and has a good pickoff move. He has also allowed 40 stolen bases in the past two seasons, second most by a Major League left-hander. The Rangers obviously work with all their pitchers on controlling the running game, and some are better than others. Some pitchers are like Nolan Ryan, who was never too concerned about somebody stealing on him. He could strike out a hitter with a runner on second just as easily as a runner on first.Could you tell us which of the Rangers' Draft picks are still unsigned, and which ones have stated their intentions to forgo a professional contract at this time?
-- Aaron R., Dallas, Texas
Right-handed pitcher Brandon Woodruff, taken in the fifth round, has announced he is going to Mississippi State, and it appears that sixth-round pick Derek Fisher, a high school outfielder out of Pennsylvania, is headed for the University of Virginia. Rangers officials expect that to be the case. The Rangers aren't ruling out the possibility of signing seventh-round pick pick Max Pentecost, a high school catcher out of Georgia.Will the international free-agent amateur signings be brought to play in the United States right away, or will they stay and play in the Dominican Summer League for another year or two?
-- Brad M., Abilene, Texas
They almost always start out playing one or two years in the Dominican Summer League before they are brought to the United States.Why did the Rangers pick 103.3 FM? I can't listen to it south of the Metroplex. It is very frustrating!
-- Ian D., Red Oak, Texas
You can listen to Rangers games or any other Major League team through MLB.com with Gameday Audio. All radio broadcasts are available for a one-time $19.99 fee, and you don't have to worry about not being able to pick up the game in the southern half of the Metroplex. The Rangers picked 103.3 because it is an all-sports station.Living in this region of Virginia, we've had our share of Major Leaguers. What's to become of Neil Ramirez?
-- John R., Norfolk, Va.
He is going to be another on the list of Major League players from the Tidewater area. He was 4-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 17 starts at Triple-A Round Rock before being shut down on July 15 because of some tightness in his right shoulder. He has resumed pitching at Double-A Frisco, and there is little doubt that his sizable talent will be seen in the Major Leagues at some point. It just won't be this season.This year, for our summer family vacation, we chose to travel with the Rangers to both Seattle and Anaheim series. While we enjoy both stadiums, the best feature we we found was the retractable roof that covers Safeco Field. Seeing how the Rangers play in the hot summer North Texas heat, is the idea of a similar retractable roof a concept the organization would consider with appropriate funding?
-- Dave B., Flower Mound, Texas
If you look at the design of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington -- with the high arches in the outside walls and that opening to the outside world beyond the right-field foul pole, there is almost no way they could seal it for an air-conditioned retractable roof. It would take a whole new ballpark, and the Rangers signed a 40-year lease on this one when it was built.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.