Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers Fantasy Baseball Daily Bullpen Updates and Closer Depth Chart

Closer 1st in line 2nd in line 2016 Closer Updated
TEX Neftali Feliz Tanner Scheppers Shawn Tolleson Neftali Feliz 3/6/15

Previous updates:

March 6, 2015
Texas Rangers — The Texas hierarchy has seen its fair share of adversity. Neftali Feliz, low strikeout rate and all, is finally starting a season as the closer after his 2013 Tommy John surgery. Tanner Scheppers, a great reliever in 2013, hurt his elbow last year after starting on Opening Day for the Rangers. Although he still wants to start, the team will keep him in the eighth this year. And Shawn Tolleson overcame back surgery in 2013 to be Texas’s most consistent reliever last season. Meanwhile, young Alex Claudio looks like the top lefty option for new manager Jeff Banister. Kyuji Fujikawa, another veteran of Tommy John surgery, also has an outside shot at high-leverage innings.

Starting 2015 hierarchy: Feliz | Scheppers | Tolleson.
Holds candidates: Scheppers, Tolleson.

September 24, 2014
Texas Rangers — We told you Neal Cotts was likely to get Tuesday’s save. And then he went ahead and did it. You’re welcome, Internet.

Hierarchy remains: Feliz | Cotts | Mendez.

September 23, 2014
Texas Rangers — Rookie Roman Mendez has been getting several high-leverage outs lately for Texas; he was used in the eighth inning up a run on Monday night. Meanwhile, Alexi Ogando is so injured that they put him on the winter league disabled list.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Cotts | Mendez.

September 14, 2014
Texas Rangers – The Rangers gave Neftali Feliz the night off after pitching two days in a row and Neal Cotts picked up his first save of the season.  Despite his recent struggles (and his 9 losses on the season), it looks like Cotts will get the first shot at saves when Feliz is unavailable.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Cotts | Tolleson.

September 8, 2014
Texas Rangers – Neal Cotts has struggled as of late (7 ERs in his last 4 IPs), so Shawn Tolleson was given the 8th inning ahead of Neftali Feliz. Tolleson has only allowed runs in 2 of his past 13 outings.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Tolleson | Cotts.

August 21, 2014
Texas Rangers — After giving up two solo home runs and putting the tying run on base with a walk, Neftali Feliz made two unlikely escapes. First he convinced Ron Washington to let him stay in the game, then he struck out Donovan Solano on five mid-90s fastballs. The Rangers were encouraged by Feliz’s increased velocity, but they could do without the added drama.

Hierarchy remains: Feliz | Cotts | Tolleson.

August 4, 2014
Texas Rangers – Neftali Feliz blew a save on Sunday, his first blown save in four tries since inheriting the closer job. Normally, that would be good enough to establish a little bit of a leash, but Feliz’s peripherals have been pretty brutal in those four outings — he’s only struck out 1 hitter in 4 innings (compared with 2 BBs), and he’s yielded 9 fly balls (and 1 HR) against just 3 ground balls, which isn’t a healthy ratio for a closer (or most anyone). On Sunday, virtually all of the Rangers’ beat writers were wondering about his fastball velocity, as was Ron Washington. If Feliz does need some backup, Neal Cotts has been getting the 8th inning as of late, while righties Shawn Tolleson and Roman Mendez could also potentially be in the mix.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Cotts | Tolleson.
Neftali Feliz to Hot Seat.

July 26, 2014
Texas Rangers — With their first save opportunity since trading closer Joakim Soria, the Rangers stayed true to their word and went to Neftali Feliz.  Feliz gave up a hit and a walk, and had to throw 26 pitches to get through the inning, but he pitched a scoreless frame for his first save of the season.

Hierarchy remains: Feliz | Tolleson | Cotts.

July 24, 2014
Texas Rangers — 26-year-old Neftali Feliz, an All-Star closer in 2010, will get the first shot at the ninth with Joakim Soria headed to Detroit. “We’ll give him a shot,” Ron Washington said. “He is the only one with experience.” Shawn Tolleson and Neal Cotts will back him up.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Tolleson | Cotts.

July 23, 2014
Texas Rangers – Joakim Soria has been traded to the Tigers. Neftali Feliz’s past closer experience makes him the best bet for saves in Texas, but Shawn Tolleson and Neal Cotts could also be in the mix. We will monitor this situation as it develops.

Updated hierarchy: Feliz | Tolleson | Cotts.

July 17, 2014
Texas Rangers — As we predicted, Jason Frasor was indeed traded — to Kansas City, for AAA all-star closer Spencer Patton. Neal Cotts moves back up to second in line for now, but he could also be next out the door.

Updated hierarchy: Soria | Feliz | Cotts.

July 15, 2014
Texas Rangers – Closer Joakim Soria has been part of trade rumors, notably to the Tigers and recently to the Angels and Blue Jays, but we think Jason Frasor is the most likely Ranger reliever to be dealt at the deadline. Neftali Feliz has been solid since his return and should be a favorite to return to the ninth inning if Soria is dealt. TRADE DEADLINE BUY: Neftali Feliz

July 7, 2014
Texas Rangers – After throwing two scoreless innings in his return to the bigs on Friday, Neftali Feliz was solid again on Sunday, pitching the 8th inning of a losing effort. Due to his past experience in the role, he’ll likely be on the short list for save chances if Joakim Soria gets hurt or traded.

Updated hierarchy: Soria | Frasor | Feliz.

June 30, 2014
Texas Rangers – Something odd is afoot with Joakim Soria. He didn’t pitch for 10 days from June 14 to June 24, and then, when Ron Washington finally decided to get him some work, Soria entered in the 9th inning of a blowout, threw 8 pitches, got 2 outs, and then was yanked for Scott Baker, who faced the final batter. Three days later, Soria had his worst outing of the year, blowing the save against the Twins. And then, two days after that — yesterday — he took the loss after allowing the tie breaking run in the 9th. He’s earned way too much trust to be placed on the Hot Seat just yet, but it’s certainly been a strange week for Soria, who has a troubled injury history. We’ll keep an eye on him in the coming days.

Hierarchy remains: Soria | Frasor | Cotts.

June 12, 2014
Texas Rangers — Tanner Scheppers came off the disabled list, made four appearances in six days, and promptly returned to the DL Wednesday — this time for a “prolonged shutdown period.” This is Texas’s 20th disabled list move of the season, which means that their next procedure with Dr. James Andrews is free.

Updated hierarchy: Soria | Frasor | Cotts.

June 6, 2014
Texas Rangers – Tanner Scheppers, one of the best set-up men in baseball last year, has officially returned to the bullpen after a failed experiment in the starting rotation. His first assignment was an 8th inning hold opportunity, and though he gave up a solo home run to Adam Jones, we expect that the righty will soon regain the form that nearly made him an All Star last year. Once he proves his effectiveness — as well as his ability to pitch in back-to-back games — he could get a save chance or two when Joakim Soria is unavailable.

Updated hierarchy: Soria | Frasor | Scheppers.

June 5, 2014
Texas Rangers — After giving up three runs in one-third of an inning on Tuesday, Alexi Ogando complained of elbow soreness, and now finds himself on the DL for the third straight June. Although Tanner Scheppers has given up three home runs in 3.2 AAA innings during his minor league rehab assignment, he worked out with the big league club on Wednesday, and could soon be called on for high-leverage work. In the meantime, Neal Cotts moves into Ogando’s spot, especially since Aaron Poreda’s recall gives the Rangers another lefty arm in the bullpen.

Updated hierarchy: Soria | Frasor | Cotts.

May 22, 2014
Texas Rangers — When Tanner Scheppers returns from the disabled list after this weekend’s rehab assignment, he will do so as a set-up reliever, the role that he filled so ably for the team in 2013.

Hierarchy remains: Soria | Frasor | Ogando.

May 9, 2014
Texas Rangers – Alexi Ogando’s ugly 2014 continued earlier this week, as he was given a low-leverage 6th inning to sort himself out and responded by giving up 4 ERs. Last night, it was Jason Frasor who got the 8th inning ahead of Joakim Soria, and Frasor pitched a perfect inning to lower his ERA to 1.50. On nights when Soria is unavailable, it seems much more likely that Frasor would get a save opp than Ogando at this point. Ogando, who currently has an ERA over 8, needs to improve quickly or he could fall off the Texas hierarchy entirely.

Hierarchy change: Soria | Frasor | Ogando.

April 14, 2014
Texas Rangers – Joakim Soria was unavailable after pitching in back to back games, so Alexi Ogando got the save in his place.  With Neftali Feliz still in the minors, Ogando would have little competition for the closer gig should something happen to Soria.  No hierarchy change.

April 9, 2014
Texas Rangers — Joakim Soria entered in the ninth inning of a 10-4 game and scattered four hits among three strikeouts, surrendering three runs. With Neftali Feliz impressing in the minors, another outing like that one could send Soria to the Hot SeatNo hierarchy change.

April 5, 2014
Texas Rangers — Neftali Feliz is starting to get his velocity back in the minors.  He was sent down over concerns that his velocity was down in spring training but could be a guy to keep an eye on if he can regain his stuff from a couple years ago when he had 32 saves.  No hierarchy change.

March 22, 2014
Texas Rangers — Ron Washington has chosen 29-year-old Joakim Soria to close for the Rangers, citing Soria’s consistency and experience. His #1 ranking on our middle reliever list probably didn’t hurt either. With Tanner Scheppers moving into the rotation, Alexi Ogando will return to his old set-up role. Neftali Feliz’s spot on the roster is far from guaranteed, and if he makes the team, he’ll apparently be battling Neal Cotts and Jason Frasor to be #3. Hierarchy change: Joakim Soria to Closer, Alexi Ogando to Set-Up, Neal Cotts to 2nd in line.

March 13, 2014
Texas Rangers — As Joakim Soria excels and Neftali Feliz struggles to return from Tommy John surgery, Ron Washington is speaking of a closer committee and longing for “a guy who can get three outs.” Ominous. Feliz is ranked #27 in our preseason closer rankings.

March 7, 2014
Texas Rangers – The Rangers have said this is an open competition.  But they’ve also suggested that they want Neftali Feliz to win the job, and yesterday, Feliz gave them reason to think that he will.  So for now, we like him to beat out Joakim Soria for the job.  Tanner Scheppers and Robbie Ross, both among the best middle relievers in baseball last year, both reportedly have their eye on the 5th starter job.  They’re probably both too valuable to demote if they can’t crack the rotation, so one of them could get shuttled back to the bullpen by the end of spring training.  Starting 2014 hierarchy: Closer – Neftali Feliz, Set-up – Joakim Soria, 2nd in line – Tanner Scheppers. 

September 25, 2013
Texas Rangers — Thanks to a reader for pointing this out: Joe Nathan triggered his free agent clause by closing his 55th game last week, allowing him to void his $9 million team option for 2014 and seek a longer deal.  Our gut feeling is that he stays in Arlington to close next year, but if he ends up somewhere else, we see Tanner Scheppers as the Rangers’ 2014 closer — if you’re playing the long game. No hierarchy change.

August 21, 2013
Texas Rangers — Although Joakim Soria is not being used in a conventional set-up role, we think he still has the best shot at saves if something happens to Joe Nathan. Meanwhile, Neftali Feliz is back to his Triple-A rehab assignmentNo hierarchy change.

August 10, 2013
Texas Rangers — Neal Cotts came on to get the last out of the 8th inning with the Rangers up 3.  The Rangers added two more runs in the top of the 9th so Cotts stayed on to finish the game and notched his first save of the season. No hierarchy change.

July 28, 2013
Texas Rangers – The Rangers are discussing trading Joe Nathan.  While it seems unlikely that the Rangers would deal Nathan, sources say that Joakim Soria could be an option to close.   There is no mention of Tanner Scheppers so it sounds like the Rangers would rather go with the experienced former closer.   Hierarchy change: Joakim Soria to Set-up, Tanner Scheppers to 2nd in line.

July 25, 2013
Texas Rangers – Neal Cotts picked up his second straight 8th-inning hold on Wednesday, and even helped the Rangers get through the 9th, retiring the first two hitters before Joe Nathan was summoned to get the final out.  Though Joakim Soria obviously has a huge edge when it comes to experience, the Rangers are still being cautious with the oft-injured righty, and he’s only thrown 4 innings since returning to the big leagues on July 7.  Cotts, meanwhile, now sports a 0.91 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP, and is striking out more than a batter per inning.  Hierarchy change: Neal Cotts to 2nd in line, replacing Joakim Soria.

July 24, 2013
Texas Rangers — Yankees fans are happy; this time, Joe Nathan set up Mariano Rivera. Blown save or no, Nathan certainly seemed to have a valid case against the home plate umpire. No hierarchy change.

July 17, 2013
Texas Rangers — The Rangers are very happy with their deep bullpen; any trade they make will focus on their offense or starting rotation. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

July 14, 2013
Texas Rangers – Joakim Soria pitched the 8th inning with the Rangers up 3 on Saturday.  Soria has made 3 appearances since being activated off the DL and has yet to allow a run while picking up a hold in each appearance.  Hierarchy change: Joakim Soria to 2nd in line, replacing Neal Cotts.

July 9, 2013
Texas Rangers — Joakim Soria returned on Sunday after almost two years of recovery from Tommy John surgery; in his first two games back, he has picked up holds in the sixth and eighth innings. We’re not ready to move Soria into Texas’s hierarchy just yet, but don’t count him out. No hierarchy change.

July 8, 2013
Texas Rangers – With Tanner Scheppers coming off a rough outing on Saturday, the Rangers went to lefty Neal Cotts for the 8th inning hold on Sunday.  Cotts, called up in May, has been nothing short of spectacular since joining the big league club.  He’s got a 1.09 ERA and a 31-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 24.2 innings, and with Robbie Ross’s recent struggles, Cotts has become the go-to lefty in the Texas bullpen.  Hierarchy change: Neal Cotts to 2nd in line, replacing Robbie Ross.

June 7, 2013
Texas Rangers – Ron Washington used Tanner Scheppers in a tied eighth inning, but since (as everyone knows) “you can’t use your closer on the road in the ninth inning of a tie ballgame,” out came Michael Kirkman and his 2.18 ERA WHIP for the ninth. Double, intentional walk, three-run homer, ballgame. Maybe Ron and Joe Nathan had dinner reservations. No hierarchy change.

April 27, 2013
Texas Rangers – Tanner Scheppers pitched the 8th inning last night, earning his 5th hold of the season.  The young righty has yet to allow a single run this season through 12.2 innings and has become the most likely candidate for saves on nights when Joe Nathan is unavailable.  Hierarchy change: Tanner Schepper to Set-up, Robbie Ross to 2nd in line.

April 22, 2013
Texas Rangers – Michael Kirkman picked up a 3-inning save in a blowout on Sunday.  He does not figure in to the normal late-inning hierarchy in Texas.  No hierarchy change.

April 9, 2013
Texas Rangers – Before the season, Ron Washington tabbed Robbie Ross and Michael Kirkman as his set-up men.  Ross has been solid, but thus far, Kirkman is sporting a 13.50 ERA and has mostly been used as a match-up guy.  Hard-throwing righty Tanner Scheppers has been the one throwing meaningful innings for the Rangers, and he hasn’t allowed a run through 4.2 innings thus far.  Hierarchy change: Tanner Scheppers to 2nd in line, replacing Michael Kirkman.

April 1, 2013
Texas Rangers – Late last week, Ron Washington signaled that Robbie Ross and Michael Kirkman would be the team’s primary set-up men, moves that were reinforced over the weekend.  Josh Lindblom, who many thought would serve as a late-inning man, was sent to the minors to be stretched out as a starter, while Jason Frasor was used in the 7th inning last night with the Rangers down four runs.  Hierarchy change: Robbie Ross to Set-up, Michael Kirkman to 2nd in line. 

February 24, 2013
Texas Rangers – Starting 2013 hierarchy: Closer- Joe Nathan, Set-up- Jason Frasor, 2nd in line- Josh Lindblom. 

September 17, 2012
Texas Rangers – Koji Uehara picked up his first save of the season on Sunday. Joe Nathan has had some arm fatigue and is being rested. Uehara has been pitching a lot lately, having not allowed a run in September. Hierarchy change: Koji Uehara to 2nd in line, replacing Mike Adams.

September 14, 2012
Texas Rangers – On his third straight night of work, Joe Nathan was horrid, giving up three runs on four hits and blowing the save before being replaced by Koji Uehara. No hierarchy change.

August 5, 2012
Texas Rangers – A little over a week ago, reports emerged that the Rangers were trying to stretch Alexi Ogando out, and they seemed validated when Ogando was used for 2.2 innings nine days ago. But since then, he’s gone back to pitching 1 inning at a time, including last night, when he picked up his second save in a row (Joe Nathan needed a second day off after two marathon outings on Thursday and Friday). While Mike Adams will stick as the 8th inning guy regardless, Ogando appears to be the man the Rangers will use when Nathan is unavailable. Hierarchy change: Alexi Ogando to Set-up, Mike Adams to 2nd in line.

August 4, 2012
Texas Rangers – Joe Nathan was given a day off on Friday, but it was Alexi Ogando, not Mike Adams, who picked up the save in his stead– Adams pitched in his usual 8th inning role. However, the Rangers are reportedly looking to stretch Ogando out and return him to the rotation in the not-too-distant future, so Adams is still the guy most likely to see save chances on nights that Nathan is unavailable. No hierarchy change.

July 18, 2012
Texas Rangers – Alexi Ogando returned from the DL and was placed back in to the bullpen, where he will remain for the foreseeable future. He pitched 0.2 innings yesterday and will be used in a late-innings role, as he was before. Hierarchy change: Alexi Ogando to 2nd in line, replacing Tanner Scheppers.

July 13, 2012
Texas Rangers – With the second-best record in all of baseball, the Rangers will be buyers at the trade deadline. They might look to add a set-up man, as Mike Adams has been somewhat shaky this season, but no pick-up will supplant Joe Nathan at closer. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

June 30, 2012
Texas Rangers – With both Joe Nathan and Mike Adams unavailable, the Rangers called on young Tanner Scheppers in the 9th inning yesterday. Scheppers was an unexpected choice, as he’d struggled so far this season since being called up in early June. But the righty is a former first round pick, and despite some early road bumps (his current ERA is 9.31), he’s been pitching in some high-leverage spots. Hierarchy change: Tanner Scheppers to 2nd in line, replacing Robbie Ross.

June 16, 2012
Texas Rangers – The Rangers placed Koji Uehara on the disabled list yesterday. Young lefty Robbie Ross is having an outstanding season and is the most likely candidate to inherit the 7th inning role. Hierarchy change: Robbie Ross to 2nd in line, Koji Uehara to DL.

June 8, 2012
Texas Rangers – With Derek Holland injured, Alexi Ogando is moving to the rotation. Koji Uehara (1.33 ERA, 0.54 WHIP), will assume Ogando’s role as the high-leverage 7th inning righty in the Rangers bullpen. Hierarchy change: Koji Uehara to 2nd in line, replacing Alexi Ogando.

April 14, 2012
Texas Rangers – Alexi Ogando got the save last night. Ron Washington declared after the game that Joe Nathan was still the closer but with Adams getting the save the night before, the Rangers have several other options if Nathan continues to struggle. Joe Nathan to Hot Seat.

April 13, 2012
Texas Rangers- Mike Adams, yesterday’s #1 candidate for a vulture save, filled in yesterday for Joe Nathan, who had the night off. No hierarchy change.

April 7, 2012
Texas Rangers- The Rangers, protecting a 1-run lead in the 7th inning last night, went to Alexi Ogando rather than Koji Uehara, who is coming off a rough spring training. Hierarchy change: Alexi Ogando to 2nd in line, replacing Koji Uehara.

March 24, 2012
Texas Rangers- Neftali Feliz has moved to the rotation and Joe Nathan will take over as closer. Mike Adams, acquired from San Diego at the trade deadline last year, will return as setup man. Koji Uehara remains the 7th-inning reliever. Starting 2012 hierarchy: Closer- Joe Nathan, Set-up- Mike Adams, 2nd in line- Koji Uehara.

Dec. 15, 2011
Texas Rangers- The Rangers have announced that Neftali Feliz will move to the rotation in 2012. Joe Nathan will assume the closer role. Hierarchy change: Joe Nathan to Closer, replacing Neftali Feliz.

Sept. 1, 2011
Texas Rangers- The Rangers acquired Mike Gonzalez from the Orioles last night. Gonzalez has a stellar ERA over the past month and a half and will likely assume the 7th inning role over Koji Uehara, who has struggled as of late. Hierarchy change: Gonzalez to 2nd in line, replacing Uehara.

Aug. 20, 2011
Texas Rangers- Despite blowing the game last night, Mike Adams returned to his 8th inning role even though Koji Uehara was also available in the bullpen. Adams responded well, logging two Ks in a spotless 8th inning. Hierarchy change: Adams to Set-Up, Uehara to 2nd in line.

Aug. 19, 2011
Texas Rangers- Neftali Feliz was given the night off after pitching four of the previous five games, and his temporary replacement, Mike Adams, faced only two batters in his save opportunity last night, yielding a single and a walk-off HR. Should Feliz need the day off again, Uehara will likely get the next save opp. Hierarchy change: Uehara to Set-Up, Adams to 2nd in line.

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