One of the hardest things about covering a baseball team is getting to know the players, and that’s especially when the case when there is a giant brick wall in the form of a language barrier.
But in talking to Neftali Feliz following his first relief appearance Thursday night, the 21-year-old top prospect seemed satisfied with his first two inning effort. He gave up a hit and an earned run while striking out two.
But the real reason to celebrate if you’re Feliz is the fact the move to the pen should only accelerate his move to the big leagues, something director of player development Scott Servais said Thursday.
It’s the same approach the Rangers used with Derek Holland. Put him in the pen, let him get used to it, and then let him throw some relief. If all goes well then the player makes a transition to the rotation, just like Holland did.
Only difference is, the Rangers are starting this process in Triple-A with Feliz. What it means for his long term future is uncertain, but the first step in what will be his final path to the big leagues has been taken.