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July 27, 2011

Wednesday pregame Rangers notes: Trades, Neftali Feliz.

Sources have said that the Rangers are out on the Carlos Beltre sweepstakes, with San Francisco emerging as the apparent winner. The Rangers continue to focus on a relief pitcher, with San Diego closer Heath Bell atop the list. Florida closer Leo Nunez is also on the radar, but the Rangers like Bell's track record better.

Manager Ron Washington said earlier today that he believes the bullpen needs to be upgraded.

Neftali Feliz would remain the closer, and Bell has said that he's OK setting up. After Feliz's past two outings, though, the Rangers would like another option for the ninth inning. The goal is to shorten games, and Bell helps accomplish that. He would also push Darren Oliver and Mark Lowe into the sixth and seventh innings.

*Feliz, meanwhile, has drawn the ire of his manager for what he sees is a lack of fire when Feliz closes games. Feliz countered by saying he has the fire, but his confidence level makes him appear more calm on the mound instead of fiery.

*Andres Blanco (back) will leave the Rangers for a rehab assignment Thursday and meet them on Monday's off day in Detroit.

*C.J. Wilson's postgame comments Tuesday that he was "100 percent unlucky" have drawn criticism from Washington and TV analyst Steve Busby, the former big-league pitcher who tossed two career no-hitters. Washington said that any ball that makes it through the infield and has to be picked up by an outfielder is a hit, no luck involved. There was also no luck involved in the three walks Wilson issued to lead off the fifth, said Washington.

-- Jeff Wilson


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