Neftali Feliz: He's Good... A Little Too Good

We all know what's up with Neftali:

16.1 IP, 5H, 1BB, 21K, 0.55 ERA... certified bad ass


Here's the problem: The guy is too good.

When Neftali pitches in a game, the follow-up Rangers pitchers are inferior. Period.

Rangers' pitchers who come into the game after Neftali is done dominating:

11.1 IP, 9ER, 5K, 7BB, 17H or 7.30 ERA, 4.05 K/9, 5.68 BB/9, 2.16 WHIP

Broken down to our normally dominate bullpen-ers:

  • O'Day: The aberration: 4IP, 2.25 ERA, 2.25 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, 1.00 WHIP
  • Grilli: Infiniti everything
  • C.J.: 1 IP (3 appearances), 36.00 ERA, 9.00 K/9, 9.00 BB/9, 54.00 WHIP
  • Franky: 3.2 IP, 5.625 ERA, 8.43 K/9, 2.81 BB/9, 1.875 WHIP

My attempted explanation for this phenomena (as our bullpen has dominated this year in games when Feliz hasn't pitched and games not in early April):

Neftali : Swinging with a donut :: Rest of the bullpen : Swinging without the donut

  1. Batters see the ball better with a new perspective on Franky's, "easy-to-hit" 95 mph fastball
  2. Batters have a renewed sense of confidence, "Oh thank God, now I only have to face Franky and C.J."
  3. Franky and C.J. develop an inferiority-complex and don't pitch with the same confidence as usual, another analogy, if I may: ...... Franky after watching Feliz pitch :: Me next to Ron Jeremy at the urinal
I think O'Day has bested this by not being a fastball pitcher. . This post isn't entirely serious, but I think there is something to be said for having your best pitcher also be your closer (even if it is in 2 inning stints). I realize there is the confidence/experience arguments against him closing games, but I think the Rangers are in the rare position to go to a closer by committee formula, with Feliz pitching the 8/9 in close games sometimes, and Franky pitching the 9th in others. To be clear, I'm entirely worried about Franky in the closer situation, however, nothing is wrong with trying to make the team better.