Now They Really Need Dempster: Feliz Gone for the Season, Oswalt to the Bullpen

. . . because Neftali Feliz—out since May with a right elbow tear following an impressive beginning to his life as a starter—will need Tommy John surgery to repair it and is expected to be away from the team until the middle of 2013.

The Texas Rangers had already lost Colby Lewis for the season to surgery for a torn elbow flexor tendon, which made it an urgency to chase and land Dempster before the non-waiver trade deadline. Now they lose Feliz, who looked as though he were coming along well in three rehab starts at Round Rock (AAA) until elbow discomfort scratched him from a fourth start Sunday.

Moved to the rotation after being the Rangers’ closer, Feliz opened 2012 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA in seven starts, before he went on the DL with what was thought an ordinary elbow sprain.


The Rangers also decided to move struggling Roy Oswalt to the bullpen, with freshly-acquired Dempster taking his rotation spot. Oswalt’s most recent start was a disaster against the Los Angeles Angels; he surrendered eleven hits and was charged with eight runs in 5 1/3 innings’ work, including giving up the first of Kendrys Morales’s two bombs in the sixth inning.

Once a formidable pitcher—he had five top-ten Cy Young Award finishes, back-to-back 20-win seasons, and a National League ERA title with the Houston Astros—Oswalt in Philadelphia went from a stellar beginning (7-1/1.74 after he was obtained at the non-waiver deadline) to a 2011 in which he was bothered first by tornadoes which prompted him to leave the team to secure his family in Mississippi, then by back trouble that put him on the disabled list awhile.

The Phillies declined his option after the season and made him a free agent; the Rangers signed him in May, after Oswalt spent the winter hoping for a good deal from a team within reasonable reach of his Mississippi home.


WHAT RELIEF?—It looks like the New York Mets are going to ride out the season with what they’ve got, after making no noticeable non-waiver deadline moves to shore up a bullpen best described as a) incendiary, but b) at least not the Milwaukee Brewers’. TheSportsXChange says the team losing 13 of  their first 15 since the All-Star break factored in the non-activity, particularly since many teams weren’t all that willing to surrender young, inexpensive players under team-control contracts for players the Mets might have thought to move, particularly Scott Hairston, who’s having a solid enough season to have provided a solid bench bat for another contender.

NO RELIEF . . . for Chicago White Sox lefthander John Danks: he’s due for season-ending shoulder surgery after being on the DL since late May and a setback during his only rehab gig at Charlotte (AAA) in June.

SOME RELIEF . . . for New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixiera, who has no structural left wrist damage according to an MRI result. He plans to continue treating and resting the wrist until a projected Friday night return. Nick Swisher will spell him at first base until he returns. Teixiera first felt pain Sunday night swinging against Boston’s Felix Doubront, but he irritated it more Monday diving for a ground single by Baltimore’s J.J. Hardy, causing him to leave the game.


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