The off-day nine from Surprise

 Sorry…had some technical difficulties this week on the blog but now back to our regularly scheduled program…

 1. With all the attention on Yu Darvish, it was still clear that Neftali Feliz would be the more important story in camp. That is even more so now that he has experienced some shoulder stiffness. Feliz felt better on Wednesday but there is still not indication to the extent of the injury and no word on if he’ll make his next start on Monday. Certainly the Apocalypse Now theorists will have Roy Oswalt on his way to Surprise but the Rangers rarely make snap decisions.

 2. The Rangers are 5-12. That is the worst record in Arizona and third worst in Spring Training. Only the Braves (5-13) and the Mets (4-12) are worse.

 3. Theory on why the Rangers have a lousy record: their bullpen has not been good and they have been losing games late. They also don’t have a lot of offensive firepower depth in camp beyond their regulars. So they are getting out-slugged late in the game.

 4. Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler and Michael Young are hitting a combined .430 with 37 hits in 76 at-bats. Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz are hitting .225 with just one home run between them.

 5. The projected rotation of Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Yu Darvish and Feliz have a combined 2.78 ERA.

 6. Pitching coach Mike Maddux on Feliz’s mound demeanor: “When things are hairy and a guy has success, people say he has ice-water in his veins. When it goes the other way, people question the effort. That’s just the way Neftali is wired. Neftali never waivers. Neftali will show emotion from time to time. You’ll hear on the mound saying something but he’s mad at himself. He gets it out and moves.”

 7. Greg Maddux on his brother being considered by the Cubs as manager: “It definitely would’ve been a good opportunity. Where his family life was at the time didn’t make sense for him. He’s got his family together again for the first time since he moved to Texas. He didn’t want to lose them again. I think he’ll be a good manager one day. When the time’s right, I think he’ll be good at it. He’ll gain some more experience and knowledge and down the road sometime he’ll be even more of a candidate.”

 8. The Phillies have released former Rangers No. 1 draft pick Kasey Kiker.

 9. Sports Illustrated has the Rangers finishing second in their division, winning the wild card game and losing to the Angels in the playoffs.


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