SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Neftali Feliz, who has been dealing with stiffness in his right shoulder, was able to throw long toss without any problems on Friday. But the Rangers will not start him against the Reds on Monday, and there are some concerns that Feliz will not get enough innings during Spring Training to be ready for the regular season.
"We're going to do what's smart," pitching coach Mike Maddux said. "We've got to remember that we're in this for the long haul."
Scott Feldman will likely start against the Reds on Monday. That would put him in the fifth-starter slot if Feliz is not ready to start the season. Alexi Ogando could also fill that spot if Feliz is not ready to go, but the Rangers also expect him to be a big part of their bullpen.
The Rangers still have time to get Feliz two more starts before Spring Training ends and get his pitch count up to 80-90 pitches going into the regular season. But if Feliz's return continues to get pushed back, he could be forced to start the season on the disabled list while he builds up his endurance, durability and pitch counts.
"If you limit the innings on your starter, it taxes everybody," Maddux said. "There is a domino effect. You've got to have your starters log some innings."
Feliz left Tuesday's start against the Cubs after three scoreless innings with tightness in his shoulder. He underwent treatment on Wednesday and threw long toss on Thursday. Feliz said he still felt a little tight on Thursday, but was better on Friday and will throw again on Saturday.
"We'll see how it feels [on Saturday], but it feels better today," Feliz said. "Nobody has said anything to me about my next start, but I'll throw tomorrow and see how it feels."
Rangers meet with Kinsler's agent
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rangers met with Ian Kinsler's agent on Friday for further discussions on the possibility of a long-term contract extension, but a deal isn't likely any time soon.
"I'm not very optimistic," Kinsler's agent Jay Franklin said afterward.
Kinsler is signed through this season and the club has a $10 million option on him for 2013. After that, he can become a free agent. Franklin and the Rangers have had ongoing discussions since the offseason and resumed them at the club's request on Friday.
"They wanted to revisit some talks from the past and see if something can be done," Franklin said. "So we came out and visited and basically listened to them. They are making a concerted effort to do the right thing with the nucleus of their club.
"What they're doing is the right thing. You would be hard-pressed to find a better organization making a more concerted effort to lock down their best players. It just comes down to dollars and cents ... or sense."
The Rangers recently completed a five-year, $28 million contract with pitcher Derek Holland.
"As a matter of course, we sit down with agents as they come into town," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "We have a long-term relationship with him, so we sat down with him. We have made very clear our desire to retain our core nucleus of players."
Moreland trying to get hot
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Mitch Moreland, who was batting ninth and playing first base on Friday night, went into the Rangers' game against the Giants with seven hits in his last 24 at-bats. That's a .292 batting average that doesn't exactly constitute being on a tear, but it does suggest progress from his 1-for-16 start to the spring.
"It's definitely getting better," Moreland said. "I've felt more comfortable in the box. I'm trying to put together decent at-bats, see the ball better and take good swings."
The biggest thing is for Moreland to continue to recover from his offseason wrist surgery, although he is not fully there yet. Moreland underwent surgery on Dec. 1 to have a small bone removed from his right wrist, and the recovery time was listed as 8-12 weeks.
He entered Spring Training on a slightly limited program, but now he is up to speed with other hitters.
"It's felt pretty good," Moreland said. "I've had days with more stiffness than others, but lately it has been really good. I haven't had a whole lot of stiffness. My swings feel better."
Holland survives first pitch homer
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Derek Holland, pitching in a Minor League game, took the mound against Triple-A Tucson on the back fields. His first pitch was a 91-mph fastball and was hit by Tucson outfielder Blake Tekotte for a home run.
"He got a wakeup call in the first inning," pitching coach Mike Maddux said.
Holland bounced back from that to throw five strong innings. He allowed just three hits, three walks and struck out five, while throwing 67 pitches.
"Next time that kid came up, high chopper to first base, pop foul and strike out ... mess with Holland," manager Ron Washington said. "It was his work day. If you're out there working, you certainly don't want to be embarrassed. Derek was trying to set an example for those kids watching him."
Said Maddux, "I thought Holland was very good. He mixed his speeds and threw all his pitches for strikes. I liked the fact that he pitched to his competition. They were up there hacking, so he made them chase his pitches."
Matt Harrison pitches in a Minor League game on Saturday against the Royals, with Greg Reynolds starting against the Angels in the Cactus League.
Yu Darvish threw 36 pitches in a bullpen session on Friday in preparation for his next outing. Darvish is scheduled to pitch in an intrasquad game at Surprise Stadium on Sunday morning, rather than in the Cactus League game against the Angels.
The Rangers still not have announced a starter for Sunday's game against the Angels. Robbie Ross is expected to pitch in that game, but probably won't start.
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.