With the Rangers bullpen imploding like Texas Stadium, Ron Washington made the only logical choice Sunday. Replace struggling closer Frank Francisco with wunderkind in the making Neftali Feliz.
Feliz has loads of talent. Fans who some him pitch in OKC last year can attest to that. Feliz at times touched 104 on the Bricktown Ballpark scoreboard gun. Velocity that extreme might not be the norm, but Feliz is capable of bringing it over 100 mph. That much is certain.
What’s not certain is his mental ability to handle the task at hand. Feliz has never pitched back-to-back days in the majors and he’s not even 22 yet. That’s a lot to take in for a player of any age let alone 21.
Another point worth noting: Is Feliz now firmly entrenched in the role of a reliever, even though Texas gave him a shot at the rotation early in spring training?
Ramirez struggling: One of the potential rebound stories of the year for the RedHawks was/is catcher Max Ramirez. After a miserable 2009 in which he struggled with wrist problems and strikeouts, he is healthy (apparently) but isn’t on any kind of hot streak. He is 1 for 10 with four strikeouts in 10 at bats prior to Sunday’s loss.
Holliday homer for not: Cardinals outfielder and Stillwater native Matt Holliday tied what was a great Sunday night game between St. Louis and Milwaukee on ESPN with a solo shot to center in the ninth that followed up Albert Pujols’ two run bomb. The Cards went with Kyle McClellan in the ninth instead of Okie Ryan Franklin. McClellan gave up a solo walk off bomb to Casey McGehee.
What to watch: Let’s see if former Jenks standout Josh Johnson can regain his 2009 form after a so-so first outing. Johnson pitches Thursday against the Reds.