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Feliz likely to join bullpen this weekend

Feliz likely to join bullpen this weekend

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Feliz likely to join bullpen this weekend

SEATTLE -- Neftali Feliz looks like he'll be ready to return to the Major Leagues Sunday when the rosters are expanded for September. Feliz had another strong outing for Triple-A Round Rock this past Sunday, throwing two scoreless innings.

Feliz, who underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery Aug. 1, 2012 and has not pitched for the Rangers this season, has made five appearances for Round Rock and not allowed a run. In 5 2/3 innings, he has allowed two hits and two walks while striking out five. Sunday marked the first time he has thrown two innings in a game. His velocity peaked at 93 mph.

"Feliz is continuing to improve," Texas general manager Jon Daniels said. "He got through two innings without issue. Report is that he pounded the zone with his fastball and had a very good changeup. The velocity is ticking up, though we may not fully see it right away."

Feliz is scheduled to pitch again Wednesday. He has time for two or three more outings before the rosters expand Sunday. Round Rock's season ends Monday and the Express are not going to make the playoffs. Feliz, who was the Rangers' closer in 2010-11 before moving into the rotation, will likely be used in a limited setup role behind Tanner Scheppers, Joakim Soria and Jason Frasor.

"We'll make sure we use him in less stressful situations," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We'll start him out in situations where it doesn't matter how he does. We won't throw him to the wolves."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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