Aug 21, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Neftali Feliz (39) pitches in the ninth inning against the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
One possible positive from seeing Dave Dombrowski leaving the organization is the hopeful end of the franchise’s fascination with broken down Texas Rangers’ closers.
Over the last two seasons, the Detroit Tigers added Joe Nathan, Joakim Soria and Neftali Feliz, all to substandard results. One could argue that Soria was a positive, other than struggling when Brad Ausmus didn’t have a role for him in 2014 and helping to blow Game 2 of last year’s ALDS in Baltimore, he was decent in Detroit, doing well as the closer earlier this year when Nathan went down. He also netted us promising young prospect JaCoby Jones in a trade deadline deal.
The Rangers gave up on the 2010 rookie of the year this season, demoting him from the closer’s role, and cutting all ties with him later on in the season. As they did with former Oakland A’s closer Jim Johnson last season, the Tigers jumped on him, giving him another opportunity, hoping he’d be able to suddenly “find it.”
Johnson did not “find it”, at least not with Detroit. He had a decent season in Atlanta this season before being shipped to the Dodgers, were he once again can’t record any outs.
Feliz’s ERA above 10 with Detroit would say that he too is not working out here either.
Again, like Randy Wolf, Neftali Feliz was a rental to just have a body where it was needed. So his likely departure won’t stain too many eyes in Tigertown. However, if Avila and the Tigers do not address that bullpen this year, expect another Feliz-Johnson or two next year.
Next: Sale: Half-Off Romine