Neftali Feliz RP TEX 12 Days

Scott Lucas of the Newberg Report reports that Neftali Feliz was clocked at 94-96 mph while striking out the side in an appearance for Triple-A Round Rock Friday.

It's a very encouraging development for the reliever, as Feliz was sitting mostly in the low-90s during spring training. A few more outings like this and he should rejoin the Rangers' bullpen before long, though he might do so in a low-leverage role initially.

Neftali Feliz RP TEX 21 Days

Rangers optioned RHP Neftali Feliz to Triple-A Round Rock; reassigned LHPs Aaron Poreda and Rafael Perez to minor league camp.

Neftali Feliz RP TEX 25 Days

Rangers manager Ron Washington indicated Saturday that Neftali Feliz is "competing for a spot" in the Rangers bullpen.

That would seem to point to Joakim Soria opening the season as the Rangers closer. Feliz has seen his command and velocity fluctuate during Cactus League play, posting a 4.50 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 4/1 K/BB ratio in eight innings. He's likely to work in a setup capacity if Soria indeed is named the closer.

Neftali Feliz RP TEX 1 Month

Neftali Feliz struck out a pair in a perfect inning against the White Sox on Sunday.

Feliz reportedly hit as high as 95 mph on the stadium radar gun in the impressive showing. He worked the eighth inning in this one, with Joakim Soria following him with a perfect inning of his own in the ninth. At this point, Soria appears to be the slight favorite for save chances in Texas.

Neftali Feliz RP TEX 1 Month

Rangers manager Ron Washington said after Neftali Feliz's appearance Thursday that the reliever is "still trying to get the velocity back."

Feliz was throwing a touch harder than he had been sitting mostly in the 93-94 mph range. However, that's still a far cry from the mid- to upper-90s he sat in prior to Tommy John surgery. "Once again, it was the same," Washington said. "He's still trying to get the velocity back. The more he throws, the stronger he will get." Unless Feliz can rediscover his velocity in a hurry, Joakim Soria is looking like the better bet at this point to close for the Rangers. Soria needed just 12 pitches to strike out a pair over a scoreless inning Thursday and has been unscored upon in four appearances this spring.

Neftali Feliz RP TEX 1 Month

Rangers manager Ron Washington prefers that either Neftali Feliz, Joakim Soria or Tanner Scheppers emerges as closer, but he won't rule out the possibility of a closer-by-committee.

The competition remains wide open, with Feliz and Soria the favorites and Scheppers -- who is being stretched out as a starter -- lingering as the dark horse. "You'd always like one guy to do it, but if I have to use all three to help shut down a game, I'll do it," Washington said. "We haven't made a decision."

Neftali Feliz RP TEX 1 Month

Rangers manager Ron Washington wants to see more velocity from Neftali Feliz in games.

"I'd like to see his velocity get a little better and sustained," Washington said. "It doesn't have to get up to 99, but I'd like to see his velocity better and sustained." Scouts at Monday's game against the Reds clocked Feliz at a top speed of 92 mph. Feliz consistently sat between 96-98 mph as the Rangers' closer in 2010-11. That, of course, was before his 2012 Tommy John surgery. "When you've been doing it for eight or nine years at the end of a bullpen, we'll let you kick it in when you're ready to kick it in because we know that you will kick it in," Washington said. "This guy hasn't pitched in two years. I'd like to see it get better sooner than later." Feliz is battling Joakim Soria for the closer job.

Neftali Feliz RP TEX 1 Month

Neftali Feliz tossed a scoreless ninth inning against the Reds in Monday's 8-2 victory.

Feliz is battling Joakim Soria to close out games for the Rangers. He got into some one-out trouble, allowing back-to-back singles, but got consecutive fly outs to end the ballgame.

Neftali Feliz RP TEX 1 Month

Neftali Feliz was clocked in the 91-93 mph range, hitting 95 twice, during Cactus League play on Saturday.

He scattered a hit and a walk over a scoreless inning against the Dodgers. Today's output signifies a slight uptick in velocity for the right-hander, a good sign for a pitcher working his way back from Tommy John surgery. Feliz is expected to serve as the Rangers' closer in 2014.

Neftali Feliz RP TEX 1 Month

Rangers manager Ron Washington said that Neftali Feliz looked improved during his scoreless appearance Thursday.

Feliz's velocity remained in the 90-92 mph range, but the Rangers are more concerned with his delivery at this point. "The velocity will come," Washington said. "The key is that he throws the ball over the plate, uses his pitches and keeps his arm angle high." Feliz is battling Joakim Soria for the closer job.