Rangers righthander Neftali Feliz has been out of action for two months in what was eventually diagnosed as a UCL sprain. Those are scary words, because it isn’t far from “UCL sprain” to “torn UCL” to “Tommy John surgery”.
However, Feliz apparently doesn’t have to worry about the latter two, not yet, at least; he’s begun a rehab assignment. Richard Durrett:
Texas Rangers right-hander Neftali Feliz pitched two innings Monday in his first rehab start at Double-A Frisco, allowing an unearned run and one hit with two walks and four strikeouts.
Feliz said he felt good and was pleased with his velocity — his fastball sat between 92-95 mph, but did touch 96 on the stadium radar gun twice — and the fact that he had better command in the second inning after a wobbly first.
“The first thing is to be healthy,” Feliz said through an interpreter. “I’m trying to be ready to help the team as soon as I can.”
Feliz is expected to rejoin the Rangers’ rotation when he returns, so he’ll have to go longer than just a couple of innings. He’ll probably have to make three or four more starts, just as he would in spring training, to get properly stretched out.