Rainout pushes back Feliz's first rehab start

Rainout pushes back Feliz's first rehab start

Rainout pushes back Feliz's first rehab start
ROUND ROCK, Texas -- Neftali Feliz will make his first rehab start with Double-A Frisco on Monday and will return to Triple-A Round Rock on Friday for his second rehab start.

Feliz was scheduled to begin his rehab assignment in Round Rock's series finale against Memphis on Sunday night but the game was rained out. He played catch before Saturday's game but did not pitch at all Sunday. Feliz, who has been on the DL since May 21 with right elbow inflammation, will throw two innings Monday for Frisco and three innings Friday in Round Rock.

"I was ready to throw today but you never know what can happen," Feliz said. "I feel good. It doesn't matter where I throw, if I throw in Frisco or I throw in Triple-A."

Round Rock pitching coach Terry Clark said Saturday that Feliz will likely make four Minor League starts before returning to the Rangers, meaning he may not be activated until early August. Clark said Feliz would probably throw four or five innings in his third rehab start and six innings in his fourth. When he takes the mound against San Antonio on Monday, it will be his first time pitching in a game since May 18 against the Astros.

"I'm happy to face hitters again. I haven't done that in about two months," Feliz said. "I'm just going to try to throw strikes tomorrow and keep the ball down."

Feliz said he threw at about "85 percent" in his last bullpen, which was Monday at the Rangers' facility in the Dominican Republic. He also threw batting practice Saturday at around "97-98 percent." A decision has not been made yet on whether Feliz, who is in his first season as a full-time starter, will rejoin the Rangers rotation or return to the bullpen. He is being prepared to come back as a starter in his rehab assignment and has expressed a desire to return to the rotation multiple times.

"Mentally, I'm preparing to come back as a starter and help the team as a starter," Feliz said. "I'm trying to get my arm healthy so I can help the team win."

Feliz went 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA in eight games, including seven starts, with 37 strikeouts and 23 walks in 42 2/3 innings before getting hurt. He is one of five Rangers pitchers currently on the DL, although Colby Lewis (forearm tightness) will be activated in time to start Wednesday against the A's while Koji Uehara (strained lat) and Alexi Ogando (strained groin) are expected to be activated Tuesday.

"I'm happy that everybody is coming back," Feliz said. "Ogando's supposed to join the team tomorrow. I'm happy for Uehara, too. We're all trying to help the team win."