By TIM BOOTH, Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — Neftali Feliz will be shut down for at least a month because of inflammation in his right elbow, the Texas Rangers said Monday while putting their closer-turned-starter on the 15-day disabled list.
The AL West leaders made the move three days after wildness cut short Feliz's latest outing in the fifth inning.
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 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."
The Rangers recalled right-handed reliever Yoshinori Tateyama from Triple-A Round Rock. It's the latest Texas had gone into any season before making a roster move — the previous mark was May 10, 1976, when Ken Pape came up from the minors a day after John Ellis broke an ankle.
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.
How the two-time AL champions go forward will be re-evaluated after Feldman throws. One option could be reliever Alexi Ogando, who made 29 starts last season for the Rangers before transitioning back to the bullpen this season.
Outside of the organization, the Rangers have taken a look at free agent Roy Oswalt. On his radio show in Dallas on Monday, Rangers president Nolan Ryan acknowledged the team had a private workout recently at Oswalt's home in Mississippi and would consider signing the free agent right-hander. Oswalt has the Rangers on a short list of teams he would consider, but wants to be a starter.
"We'll take a look at that and see what happens," Ryan said.
In Texas' 4-1 win Friday at Houston, Feliz threw 51 balls among 100 pitches and was pulled by manager Ron Washington after 4 2-3 innings.
Daniels said Feliz experienced soreness following his start on May 13 against the Los Angeles Angels. Initially Feliz believed it was regular soreness following a start and didn't tell trainers. When he woke up Saturday in Houston with a sore elbow, Feliz told trainers and he was immediately sent back to Dallas for additional examination.
"Coming out of this one he noticed it wasn't going away and said something," Daniels said.
The 24-year-old is in his first season as a major league starter after he saved 72 games in two years as the Rangers' closer. He is 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA. He has 23 walks and 37 strikeouts in 42 2-3 innings.
Not long after Feliz blew a save when the Rangers were one strike away from winning the World Series last fall, the Rangers said they planned to move him to the rotation. He had been a starter in the minors.
Feliz threw seven shutout innings in a 1-0 win over Seattle in his debut but has since been uneven. He's walked at least four batters in three starts, including a season-high six when he blew a 5-0 lead in an 8-7 loss at Toronto.
"We've just got to get him well," Washington said. "We were looking forward to him taking the ball throughout the whole year but I think what happened you can't do anything about. Now the key is to get healthy."
Tateyama started the season on the DL and was optioned to Round Rock when he was activated April 13. He's 1-0 with a 0.54 ERA and a save in 12 outings. He was 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA in 39 relief appearances for the Rangers last season.
AP Sports Writers Schuyler Dixon and Stephen Hawkins contributed to this report.
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