Bullpen Report: Who closes in Texas? 

March, 11, 2014
Mar 11
1:18
PM ET
Of the few closer situations that still have some degree of uncertainty, what's happening with the Texas Rangers should be of special interest. After all, the Rangers remain pretty good, having won 90 or more games four consecutive seasons, and similar success is expected in 2014. Right-hander Joe Nathan, now a member of the Detroit Tigers, saved 80 regular-season games the past two seasons, so whoever wins the job, well, we obviously want them in fantasy. The loser of the battle we're not so interested in.

It has been somewhat presumed that right-hander Neftali Feliz, who saved 72 games in 2010 and 2011 and is healthy again, would handle the ninth-inning duties this year, while former Kansas City Royals closer Joakim Soria also can throw hard and brings closing experience. Since Rangers manager Ron Washington appears to be more of the old-time, conventional-thinking type, what with his endless bunting, odd lineups and well, I could go on but won't, one would think naming his closer well in advance of Opening Day, whether it's the best guy for the job or not, would be a priority.

[+] EnlargeNeftali Feliz
AP Photo/LM OteroNeftali Feliz is the current favorite to close in Texas, but the battle is far from over.
ESPNDallas.com writer Richard Durrett blogged last week about many relevant Rangers notes, including the fact Feliz's fastball velocity has been lacking, while Soria has looked solid, which is interesting if this really is a battle.