ST5: Ranger survive a 7 spot, beat Indians late, 11-9

Today the Rangers played two games, split squad games home and away. This game is the “primary” game to me. Mostly because it was played at home. And it had Eric Nadel on the webcast. I listened to about half of it, and then had some real life stuff to do (talk to mother, pick up kid from school, etc)..
The big deal with this game was that Neftali Feliz was starting. Although to be honest, this early in spring, the “slot” that a pitcher appears isn’t nearly as much of a concern. Even starters go just two innings, so having Feliz go two isn’t a huge stretch for him. Still, there’s some “status” at a pitcher “starting”, even this early in spring. His stats for the game aren’t bad at all. 2IP, 36P, 9 batters, 2 hits one walk, no runs, no strikeouts. Actually, while the bottom line numbers don’t look bad, he was a bit wobbly. However, first “start” jitters, early spring performance. Don’t put much weight in the numbers either way – but you never want to see “wobbly”. I still think he ends up in the bullpen as the closer, as it makes things so much easier that way in terms of the overall roster layout. Feliz was a great closer last year, if we move him into the rotation, it’s unknown for him, and we’d have an unknown at a closer. I’d rather take a question mark as a starter, as it’s just one unknown, not two.
We continued to show the power this game, with five doubles and three home runs. But the biggest power show here was Chris Davis. Clearly the best offensive performance of the game (on either side). Crush went 3-5, scoring twice, and had 3 RBI’s. He’s fallen behind in the pecking order for the most part, and with the influx of recent signees (Napoli, Beltre) as well as Michael Young, he’s now blocked in a few places, too. He’ll need to sustain this kind of performance to worm his way back into the plans of the big club, as I don’t see a spot for him – he starts in AAA this year, barring injury to someone.
This moving of Chris Davis from third to first back to third reminds me of the ping-ponging there was with Mark Teixeira very early on his career. Be nice if Crush can pick it up and end up like Teixeira. I know a few female friends who would like it if he stuck around. :)