21 November 2011

Why Moving Neftali Feliz to the Rotation is the Right Move

The two-time defending AL champion Texas Rangers brought in veteran closer Joe Nathan today in a two-year $14.5 million contract. But wait, don't tell have one of the best closers in baseball already in Neftali Feliz? Yes but now they are moving him to the rotation? And here's why it's the right move.
Well first off, it makes total sense out of necessity with the club's ace C.J. Wilson very unlikely to return to Arlington, leaving a hole in the rotation. Instead of blowing a chunk of coin on a top of the line starter, the Rangers paid a solid sum for a veteran reliever in Nathan, who was tremendous in the second half in Minnesota, and will move Feliz to the rotation which is something the club has planned on doing at some point.
And besides this is a move that I've thought that the Rangers should make in moving Feliz to the rotation. Yes he's been a tremendous closer, one of the best, but who's more valuable, a top of the line starter (Feliz has ace stuff but should be at the least a very good no. 2) or a top of the line closer? Unless we're talking Mariano Rivera, the answer is the starter just by comparing the amount of innings an ace throws compared to a reliever. And it's much easier to find a hidden gem in the bullpen than at closer, look at Nathan or Heath Bell as both were average pitchers who became dominant relievers out of nowhere. And this may be a good time to move Feliz because as Buster Olney says, young relievers who falter in a big moment in the postseason often do not recover
I really like this move for Texas and I think it's one that will keep them the dominant club in the AL West and one of the top teams in the Junior Circuit.

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