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Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Neftali Feliz exits with shoulder stiffness

By Richard Durrett

MESA, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers right-handed starter Neftali Feliz did not come out for the fourth inning Tuesday because of right shoulder stiffness.

The team said he will continue to be evaluated.

Feliz threw 49 pitches in three scoreless innings against the Chicago Cubs with a walk and a strikeout. His fastball velocity was 93 to 95 mph and he did a nice job of pitching out of a few jams. But after the third inning, he did not trot out for the fourth. Left-handed pitcher Neal Cotts came in at that point. Feliz was scheduled to pitch four innings.

Feliz, 23, is making the transition from closer to the rotation this spring. He was the AL Rookie of the Year with 40 saves in 2010 and had 32 saves as the closer in 2011. But the club has wanted to see if Feliz could establish the secondary stuff to go along with his lively fastball and become a starter. He's penciled in as the fifth starter as of now.

Feliz was on the disabled list once last season, April 21-May 5, with right shoulder inflammation.