7/24/2014 5:20 P.M. ET
Rangers hope Feliz can cling to closer role
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Rangers reliever Neftali Feliz is back in his role as closer. The right-hander still has to earn the job if he wants to keep it beyond this season.
"We're going to give him the ball; now it's up to him," manager Ron Washington said of Feliz. "He's got a chance to earn it. A chance is what it is."
Feliz was moved back into his role after the Rangers traded Joakim Soria to the Tigers on Wednesday night. Feliz entered Thursday with a 2.61 ERA since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock, having retired eight straight hitters in his last two outings.
"If there is an opportunity, I'd like to be a closer again," Feliz said. "I'm going to take advantage of the opportunity and do the best I can."
Feliz had 72 saves as the Rangers' closer in 2010 and '11 before being moved into the starting rotation in 2012. He made seven starts before coming down the right elbow trouble that eventually led to Tommy John surgery on Aug. 1, 2012.
Feliz has spent the past two years trying to regain what he lost, and it has been a difficult road. The Rangers had to rebuild his mechanics in Spring Training and optioned him to Round Rock at the start of the season to continue the process. He is still not throwing as hard as he did in 2010 and '11. His fastball has averaged 92 mph this season, as opposed to 96 in '11.
"I try not to think about 2010-11," Feliz said. "So much has happened, and I have overcome a lot of things. There are some days I don't feel well and days I feel really well. I'm trying to be more consistent and be ready."
The Rangers still want Feliz to pitch off his fastball but also to mix in his changeup and curve.
"In 2010-11, he got away with just his velocity," Washington said. "He doesn't have that, but he's doing a lot more pitching. He is using his pitches. He's got to figure out how to use them and get outs."
Vet Williams Texas' Friday starter for Tepesch
NEW YORK -- After losing the finale of their four-game series with the Yankees, 4-2, on Thursday afternoon, the Rangers announced that recently acquired veteran right-hander Jerome Williams will be recalled from Triple-A Round Rock and start on Friday against the A's.
Nick Tepesch, originally scheduled for Friday's start, will be pushed back to Saturday, and Miles Mikolas will take the hill on Sunday in place of Nick Martinez. Yu Darvish, who threw only 67 pitches in Wednesday's rain-shortened loss, will remain on schedule and pitch on Monday against the Yankees, and Martinez will start on Tuesday. A corresponding roster move will be announced on Friday.
The Rangers signed Williams to a Minor League contract on July 11 after he posted a 1-4 record and a 6.04 ERA in 26 appearances out of the bullpen for Houston this season. In two starts for Round Rock, Williams has gone 0-1 with 6.10 ERA, allowing eight runs in 10 1/3 innings.
"We've got to keep who we've got in the bullpen," manager Ron Washington said. "We signed him, we took a look at him and he's ready to go. ... We'll see what he's got to offer."
The move was made so that Tepesch could have another day of rest after throwing 12 pitches in the 14th inning of Tuesday night's 2-1 loss following a bullpen session earlier that day.
"Erring on the side of caution is the way to go," pitching coach Mike Maddux said. "You take a kid and ask him to do something out of the box -- to his credit, we really appreciate him taking the ball. The results were not what he wanted, but it is a testament to his character."
"I know Jerome Williams -- faced him enough," Washington said, alluding to Williams' three years with the Angels. "When he's right, he can sink the ball pretty good. He can run it in on right-handers and has got a good breaking ball. So we'll see what he has to offer."
-- Jake Kring-Schreifels
Maddux thrilled for Hall-bound brother
NEW YORK -- Pitching coach Mike Maddux won't be with the Rangers this weekend. Instead, he will be in Cooperstown, N.Y., with the rest of his family and many more friends to celebrate as his younger brother, Greg, is inducted into the Hall of Fame.
"One man's career comes to a crescendo," Mike Maddux said. "It is the ultimate pat on the back for a job well done. You make a Minor League team, go to the big leagues and make that team. This is the ultimate team to make. He is on a new team, the highest honor you can get."
Mike Maddux said he is not particularly nervous on his brother's behalf.
"The only nerves I feel for him is all the attention he is going to get," Maddux said. "To his comfort, he is going in with five other guys. If he was going in as the only guy, it would be overwhelming. Throughout his career, he is probably the most humble superstar in the game. My nerves will be when he does his speech. He is more of a one-line guy, not the essay."
Greg Maddux is in his third season as a special assistant with the Rangers. He still visits the Minor League affiliates to work with young pitchers, although his schedule has been slightly curtailed this season because of the impending induction.
Bullpen coach Andy Hawkins will handle the Rangers' pitching-coach duties this weekend, with an assist from Triple-A pitching coach Brad Holman.
Rangers promote righty Adcock from Triple-A
NEW YORK -- The Rangers have called up pitcher Nate Adcock from Triple-A Round Rock to replace Joakim Soria in the bullpen.
Adcock was 1-0 with a 2.76 ERA in 13 appearances at Round Rock. He was in Rangers camp during Spring Training but started the season on the disabled list after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder for thoracic outlet syndrome.
Adcock appeared in 36 games with the Royals from 2011-12, posting a record of 1-4 and a 3.79 ERA. The Rangers signed him to a Minor League contract in the offseason.
"He has been throwing the ball well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's a sinker/slider guy. He got hurt in Spring Training, but he is a multi-inning option for us."
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Rangers transferred first baseman Mitch Moreland to the 60-day disabled list. Moreland is out for the season after undergoing left ankle surgery.
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.