Neftali Feliz goes 7 with no runs in MLB starting debut.
In his MLB debut as a starting pitcher Neftali Feliz went 7 IP allowing only 4 Hs, 2 BB with zero ERs and 4 Ks in the first 1-0 win in Rangers Ballpark.
Successful, yes? So why is everyone surprised?
Short memories I guess. Everyone remembers his Rookie of the Year campaign and his 72 Saves between 2010 and 2011. But what no one seems to remember is his 54 starts since 2006. In 2008 Feliz started 17 times (A ball) with a 2.52 ERA and in 2009 he had 10 starts with a 2.98 ERA (AA).
He has a fastball, curve, change, and has recently added a slider which was working well on Tuesday night and although he can hit 98+ MPH he was keeping it a steady 94-95 only reaching back when he needed to and recording a couple Ks with his off-speed stuff.
As much as a question mark as Yu Darvish is at this point, it will be nice to see how consistent Feliz can be and for how long. Remember, Alexi Ogando had a great first half in 2011 as a starter for the Rangers but faded after the All-Star Break. I think Feliz will be different though as he has more starting experience than Ogando (3 starts in AA).
A 3.30 ERA, 12 Ws, and a 1.25 WHIP are not out of the question for Neftali. Get him now if you can. If not, wait until he gives up 3-4 ERs in an upcoming game and pounce then.
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