Rangers want Feliz to follow Darvish's lead

Rangers want Feliz to follow Darvish's lead

CLEVELAND -- Rangers starter Yu Darvish is 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA in his last four outings going into Sunday's start against the Indians. Manager Ron Washington said Darvish's success recently comes from being able to establish his fastball and then mix in the secondary pitches.

"The mix has been very good, especially when he has a fastball that moves," Washington said. "He can do a lot off his fastball. Because he can establish his fastball, he gets swings on his secondary stuff. That's why he gets so many swings outside of the zone."

That's the lesson the Rangers want Neftali Feliz to learn. On Friday, Feliz had a bullpen session with pitching coach Mike Maddux in which he threw all fastballs and nothing else. The point behind the session was getting Feliz to repeat his delivery and command his fastball.

"We had a very productive session, repeating his delivery and getting back to basics," Maddux said.

If Feliz can get back to locating his fastball, Washington said the secondary pitches will fall in line after that. Feliz's next start will be on Tuesday against the Orioles, and it will be his third straight start with five or more days' rest. After that, Feliz should be able to make three straight starts on the normal four days' rest for a starter. That may help him get into a more consistent groove.

"I think it's all about repetition," Maddux said. "The more you throw, the sharper you're going to be. But going on six or seven days' rest between starts, I don't think it's a detriment. You take one or two days off at the front and then get back into your routine."