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July 29, 2012

Neftali Feliz scratched from Sunday rehab start

The Rangers have scratched right-hander Neftali Feliz from his rehab start Sunday at Triple A Round Rock with elbow discomfort nearly two months after he was initially shelved with inflammation of the ulnar collateral ligament.

Feliz had made three rehab appearances with Round Rock and was coming off his best performance, three scoreless innings with only one hit allowed. His fourth start was to be five innings or 80 pitches, and possibly would have been his last with the Rangers in need of a starter.

The Rangers will evaluate Feliz further, but the timetable for his return is now clouded. It also would appear as though Alexi Ogando would be a better internal candidate for the rotation. The Rangers stretched him out to 44 pitches Friday in a relief appearance that stretch 2 2/3 innings.

The trade deadline looms Tuesday. With Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke no longer available, the best options remaining are Cliff Lee, James Shields and Josh Johnson.

The Rangers have concerns about the remaining dollars on Lee's contract (three-plus years, $95 million) and would need Philadelphia to pick up a portion of it. There are no guarantees that the Phillies, who just re-signed Hamels, would ship away Lee.

Johnson's health is a concern after his velocity has failed to return a year after a shoulder injury, and Tampa Bay is only three games out of the second wild-card spot and not necessarily committed to selling of key pieces like Shields.

First baseman Mitch Moreland will play Sunday for Frisco and could return from the disabled list Monday.

-- Jeff Wilson



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This news could not be more untimely for the Rangers. The three remaining trade possibilites are not good options. Johnson, the Marlins want too much for, Lee is just way too expensive, and Shields will likely go to someone else as it seems the Rangers don't want to part with their remaining options in the minors.

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