Saturday, April 23, 2011

Neftali Feliz to 15-day DL, Rangers to use closer-by-committee approach

It seems that there have been a greater number of injuries to key players this April than there has been in the first month in recent memory.

Players such as Tampa's Evan Longoria, Washington's Ryan Zimmerman and Minnesota's Joe Mauer are just a few of the elite players that have landed on the disabled list (DL). Two players (Matt Holliday and Adam Dunn) even had emergency appendectomies.

And after already losing outfielder Josh Hamilton for six-to-eight weeks, the Rangers have placed their closer, Neftali Feliz, on the 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation.

The move is retroactive to Thursday, which means Feliz will be eligible to return on May 6th when the Rangers begin a three-game series at home against the Yankees.

"If this was somebody older, who had dealt with this before, we might just give him a few days off," [general manager Jon] Daniels said, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. "But we want to be extra cautious."

Right-hander Cody Eppley from Triple-A Round Rock will take his spot on the active roster.

Last season, Feliz set the rookie record for saves (40) in a season and won the A.L. Rookie of the Year award. This year, Feliz has converted all five of his save opportunities and has a 1.08 ERA.

As far as the interim closer while Feliz is out, it's going to be a closer-by-committee approach. Per Anthony Andro of Fort Worth Star-Telegram, manager Ron Washington said, "We've got no bona fide closer right now."