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Replacement options for Neftali Feliz

5/22/2012

Neftali Feliz's sprained ligament in his right elbow means he'll be out for a few weeks, possibly through the All-Star break. The Rangers will insert Scott Feldman into his spot Wednesday, but they must figure out some longer-term options, as well. What are those options? Here are some of them:

1. Scott Feldman. He's the odds-on favorite to get this job while Feliz is out. He's been a starter before -- he won 17 games in 2009 -- and is the club's chief long reliever and spot starter. Feldman can certainly handle the workload and has said that he wants to start. (Let's also not forget that as part of his contract, signed after that 2009 season, he's getting paid like a starter, too.)

2. Alexi Ogando. He was an All-Star starter in 2011 before hitting a wall in the second half of the season. The risk in putting Ogando in the rotation is the void it creates in the bullpen. I think Ogando is the most valuable bullpen pitcher in the league right now because he's so versatile. Do you take that away from manager Ron Washington?

3. Roy Oswalt. He's looking for a job and, if he's able to stay healthy, could be a valuable addition now and later in the season. But Oswalt would need time to ramp up and get ready to pitch. He might not be ready for three or four weeks. However, he gives the club some depth. At this point, he has to be considered.

4. Robbie Ross. He's thought of as a starter long-term and can get hitters out on both sides of the plate. If you move Ross, you take out the only left-handed pitcher in the bullpen. He'd need to get stretched out, but he has started in the minors. Still, it might be too much to ask too soon.

5. Justin Grimm. This is highly unlikely, but I thought I'd throw it in just for fun. Neil Ramirez and Martin Perez haven't pitched well enough to earn promotions. Grimm is getting Double-A hitters out, but could he do it up here? Is it even worth trying? (I'll admit, I'm curious.)

To me, Feldman makes the most sense. But if Oswalt showed scouts enough during his session Friday, I'd be looking long and hard at signing him for depth purposes. What if someone else gets injured?

Of these five options, who are you taking?