Found February 22, 2012 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- New Texas Rangers starter Neftali Feliz can't wait to get the season going.
That may have been one of the reasons Feliz showed up at the Surprise Recreation Complex just after 6:30 Wednesday morning.
Feliz, who is making the transition from closer to starter this spring, is ready to begin the process. He's already thrown four or five bullpen sessions.
"I feel fine," Feliz said. "The hardest thing is going to be the pitch count. I've got to throw more. It's just a new routine."
Feliz has already taken steps to try and get ready. Strength and conditioning coach Jose Vazquez put Feliz on a program with the main emphasis being to strengthen the lower half of his body for the added workload.
As for the pitching part, Feliz thinks he can handle that himself. The biggest key there will be to develop pitches to go along with his fastball.
"I've been working a lot more on my changeup," Feliz said. "I didn't use it much as a closer. The changeup and the slider are the two pitches I'm going to focus on."
Napoli feeling fine
Mike Napoli jogged around the clubhouse Wednesday to jokingly show the media that his left ankle was fine. Napoli took batting practice Tuesday and said he had no pain in the ankle.
He's also caught off a machine and squatted behind the plate.
"I ran yesterday and I felt pretty good," said Napoli. "Everything's good."
Napoli is also ready for the challenge of being the team's No. 1 catcher.
"I'm not going to back down from saying I can catch 130 games," Napoli said. "I'm up for a challenge. I haven't caught 100 games in I don't know how many years. I haven't been given the opportunity to do it. For people to say I can't do it is pretty crazy."
Rangers hire Fernandez
Former All-Star and Gold Glove shortstop Tony Fernandez has been hired by the club as a special assistant to general manager Jon Daniels.
Fernandez, who played in the postseason for five different clubs, was on the field Wednesday with the pitchers and catchers.
"I believe it's a mentorship program," Fernandez said of his role. "I will assist JD in different areas, it could be here, it could be with the big club. Wherever he needs is where I'll be."
Fernandez has worked with the Tony Fernandez Foundation since he quit playing in 2001. The non-profit organization has offices in Canada, the United States and Dominican Republic.
One role Fernandez will have is working with the club's infielders, including shortstop Elvis Andrus. While Fernandez hasn't seen Andrus play in person, he likes what he's seen from afar.
"The few times I saw him were in the championships and the World Series," Fernandez said. "He's quick. I can see that. He has good range. There's always room for improvement. The most important thing is to develop a relationship with the players first."
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
SURPRISE, Ariz. Yu Darvish will throw with the other pitchers in the Texas camp Thursday as the team has its first full workout for pitchers and catchers.
All pitchers except Colby Lewis and Scott Feldman are expected to throw five minutes in the bullpen and five minutes of live batting practice Thursday. Lewis and Feldman had their bullpen sessions Wednesday to keep them on target...
Yu Darvish has arrived at the Texas Rangers' spring training complex.
Darvish got to camp in Surprise, Ariz., on Tuesday, a day before the reporting date for Texas pitchers and catchers.
The AL champion Rangers committed more than $107 million to acquire Japan's top pitcher. The 25-year-old Darvish got a six-year contract guaranteeing him $56 million, and Texas had to pay...
Spring Training always features high-end vehicles owned by players, coaches and front-office personnel, but Derek Holland's dune buggy stood out in the Rangers' parking lot at Surprise Stadium on Tuesday.
The Texas Rangers would love to hear Yu Darvish's best go at "y'all." "Some Texas twang, any type of slang," said fellow starter Colby Lewis, who spent time pitching in Japan in the opposite division as Darvish. "He'll have fun. It's going to be good." Give him a little time, gang.
Yu Darvish pulled a blue long-sleeved Rangers workout shirt over his head and chatted up teammate Justin Miller as nearly everybody in the clubhouse eagerly watched.
During his 30 minute press conference, new Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish emphasized that he is serious about playing major league baseball.
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- Yu Darvish arrived at the Texas Rangers' spring training complex Tuesday and had his first bullpen session with his new team.
Yu Darvish arrived at Rangers camp on Tuesday.
It wasn't a day to burden Yu Darvish.
Yu Darvish pulled a blue long-sleeved Rangers workout shirt over his head and chatted up teammate Justin Miller as nearly everybody in the clubhouse eagerly watched. Texas' prize offseason pickup looked plenty comfortable in his new surroundings on Day 1 for pitchers and catchers at Surprise Stadium, where dozens of Japanese reporters arrived early to record the right-hander's every move.
The right-hander spends about four hours at the Surprise complex.
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Yu Darvish stands alone with his expectations.