Rangers skip Neftali Feliz's start

Updated: April 25, 2012, 9:03 PM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers right-handed pitcher Neftali Feliz will not make a start this weekend against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Instead, Feliz will be available to pitch after Scott Feldman Wednesday night and would then start Tuesday in Toronto. The move gives the club a chance to get Feliz some additional time between starts and monitor his innings a bit.

Chalk it up to a learning experience for the Rangers after dealing with Alexi Ogando last season. Ogando was making the transition from bullpen to starter -- just like Feliz is this season -- and he pitched every fifth time through the rotation. He was an All-Star starter, but in logging more innings than he had before in his career, he ran out of gas in the second half and ended up as a key bullpen piece in the postseason.

"We can either take the opportunity to do it now or do it on the back end," manager Ron Washington said. "We didn't really have a plan in for Ogando. But we learned from that."

The decision alters the rotation, putting Yu Darvish on the mound Monday in Toronto. Matt Harrison, Colby Lewis and Derek Holland will pitch through the weekend.

"I feel good," Feliz said through a translator. "They had the extra day and I think it will help me. It's a long season and I don't know how many innings I'll pitch. It's up to them when I pitch."

Washington said if Feliz doesn't pitch Wednesday night, he will try to get Feliz in a game or two before his Tuesday start just to get some work in. The most innings Feliz has pitched in a full professional season was 127 1/3 innings in 2008.

Feliz is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts this season. In 20 innings, he's held opponents to a .171 batting average.

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