RHP Neftali Feliz to disabled list

Updated: May 22, 2012, 10:08 AM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

Good fortune finally ran out on the Texas Rangers as starting pitcher Neftali Feliz was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow strain Monday.

Just how long Feliz will be out will be determined when the Rangers see how a ligament in his elbow responds to four weeks without picking up a baseball. He will then be re-examined by team physician, Dr. Keith Meister.

"Keith is one of the best and if he feels like rest and medication can help him, that's encouraging to hear," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said after arriving in Seattle. "You don't like any of the guys to miss any amount of time but it beats the alternative."

Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan told ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's "Galloway and Company" on Monday afternoon that doctors were pleased with the condition of Feliz's ligament, but that the elbow had inflammation.

Right-hander Scott Feldman will take Feliz's spot in the rotation for Wednesday's series finale against Seattle. Feldman has made two spot starts, including one to give Feliz extra rest.

This is the first time this season the Rangers have made a move with their 25-man roster, the latest they've gone before making their first roster move since relocating from Washington for the 1972 season.

The Rangers' previous mark was May 10, 1976, when Ken Pape was recalled from Sacramento a day after John Ellis broke an ankle.

Right-handed pitcher Yoshinori Tateyama will take Feliz's place on the 25-man roster.

Daniels said Feliz felt discomfort two starts ago against the Los Angeles Angels on May 13. He thought it was normal soreness, but it didn't go away as expected. Feliz didn't report it until after Friday's start at Houston.

Feliz threw 101 pitches in 4 2/3 innings against the Astros, allowing a run on three hits. He also walked five batters and struck out six in the 4-1 victory.

"We just got to get him well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We certainly were looking forward to him taking the ball through the whole year, but I think what happened we can't do nothing about it. Now the key is to get healthy."

Feliz, who was the club's closer the past two seasons, is 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA in eight games (seven starts) for the Rangers this season.

He had a start skipped in spring training and didn't throw for a few days after experiencing shoulder stiffness. But he resumed his program, threw in a minor league game and was healthy and ready for the start of the season.

The Rangers did watch free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt throw on Friday as part of the club's due diligence. At that point, they didn't have a need for another starter. It's unclear if Feliz's disabled list stay changes anything in regards to Oswalt.

"We have many things to talk about, but that will be one thing we'll discuss is about how we'll fill that rotation spot," Ryan said. "Feldman is scheduled to do it right now and we have (Alexi) Ogando in the bullpen, whether you'd want to take him and put him back in the rotation, but that puts a big hole in your bullpen. If Roy is a possibility, I want to visit with JD and see what the scouts told him that they had seen. I really think that Roy wants to come back. He has indicated prior that he would like to play with us. We'll take a look at that and see what happens."

Ryan said the preliminary stuff he heard on Oswalt was that he threw well and was in good shape. Ryan said Oswalt would need to stretch out and get some innings in the minor leagues before he could pitch with any major league club.

Feliz
Feliz

The club does have Feldman, who won 17 games in 2009, in the bullpen as a long reliever and spot starter.

Tateyama, 36, started the season on the disabled list with a low back muscle strain, but has gone 1-0 with one save and a 0.54 ERA in 12 relief outings for Triple-A Round Rock.

He made his major league debut with the Rangers in 2011 and was 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA in 39 appearances (44 innings).

It's the first time that a Rangers' starting pitcher has had to go on the DL since the 2010 season.

The Rangers still have 39 players on the 40-man roster.

Information from ESPNDallas.com's Master Tesfatsion and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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