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Soria, a candidate to close, has been impressive

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Soria, a candidate to close, has been impressive play video for Soria, a candidate to close, has been impressive

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Joakim Soria is off to the quickest start of the three candidates for the closer's role. While Neftali Feliz and Tanner Scheppers have been dealing with minor ailments, Soria has impressed early in Rangers camp with his throwing.

"He's such a professional," manager Ron Washington said. "His arm looks much more free and his velocity has picked up. He was never a power pitcher, but he could locate and throw breaking balls."

Scheppers has been bothered by back spasms, but those have subsided. He threw off flat ground on Saturday without any problem and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Monday. Feliz is also throwing better after some early soreness in his right biceps. He is scheduled to throw one more live batting practice and then in the intrasquad game on Tuesday.

"I felt it a little bit the other day, but I'm better," Feliz said. "I'm ready to go with no problems."

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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