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June 24, 2009

Rangers move Feliz to bullpen

General manager Jon Daniels just passed along a note that top pitching prospect Neftali Feliz will move to the bullpen at Triple-A Oklahoma, beginning with an inning tomorrow.

"We'd like to see if he's an option to help the major-league club in that role," Daniels said in an e-mail. "We still feel he may start for us in the future, but we're going to go down this path first."

If Feliz shows well in the bullpen, he could be an upgrade for a stretch run. As Daniels said in the today's editions, he feels as though upgrades to the team would come from within. That's the least expensive way to do improve the club.

Feliz has started 13 games for Oklahoma City this season, going 3-5 with a 3.86 ERA. He has twice as many strikeouts (55) as walks (27), but he has yet to throw seven innings. His fastball is still a plus pitch, and he's making progress with his off-speed stuff.

He would give the Rangers a right-hander who would pitch multiple innings and also come into a game and get a needed strikeout.

The Rangers started another of the prized prospects, Derek Holland, in the bullpen this season before putting him in the rotation. He might return to a relief role later in the season.

-- Jeff Wilson

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