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Nolan Ryan: Opinions split on Neftali Feliz

3/18/2011

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers brass isn't close to a consensus on whether Neftali Feliz fits better as a starter or closer this season.

Feliz make another start Saturday, when he is scheduled to go five innings. Manager Ron Washington said the Rangers need to make a decision by the end of next week.

"It's still up in the air," Nolan Ryan said after meeting with the Rangers baseball decision-makers for a couple of hours. "If you canvassed everybody, I don't know what it'd be, if it'd be 50/50. I think you really give him these last couple of weeks to see how things shape up and see how other people vying for a starting spot are doing."

The case for keeping Feliz, who had a rookie-record 40 saves last season, in the bullpen is that he's the only proven closer on the roster. The Rangers know he can be dominant in that role.

The case for making him a starter is based on immense potential.

"He's got the potential to be a No. 1 if he harnesses his craft," said Washington, who won't say which way he's leaning.