SEATTLE -- Rangers manager Ron Washington knows exactly how he wants his bullpen to line up. He's just trying to get it back in order after its falling out of line lately. "It's gotten out of whack a little bit," Washington said. "We're trying to find a consensus where everybody knows when they're going to be used. The starters weren't going deep in games and we had to use guys when we needed them. It will fall into place." The bullpen, when set up properly, should look like this:
Neftali Feliz is the closer and Frank Francisco is the right-handed eighth-inning setup guy. Left-hander Darren Oliver can be used in the seventh and eighth innings. Right-handers Chris Ray and Darren O'Day are primarily for the sixth and seventh innings. Doug Mathis and Dustin Nippert are the middle/long relievers. Nippert is sometimes used as a setup guy depending on need. "Early in the season, we got a little overworked," Washington said. "But it's starting to come together where we can get them in roles where they know when they're coming in."
Oliver had a better idea."Just take the ball when the phone rings and do the best you can," he said.
Washington is still adamant that Feliz is his closer even though he has given up six runs on 10 hits over his last four games and four innings."We believe he can get outs," Washington said. "The kid has had a rough time, but we're trying to build confidence. We're not going to take him out of there. The way to build confidence is to keep giving kids opportunities."