SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers closer Neftali Feliz said Thursday afternoon that he was not disappointed in the decision to keep him in the bullpen for 2011.
"It was their decision to make," Feliz said through a translator. "I'm proud of the work that I did preparing to be a starter or a closer. I feel like that was their decision and I'm going to do the best I can to do the job as a closer."
Feliz, 22, was the 2010 AL Rookie of the Year after saving 40 games. He was on the mound when the club clinched the AL West in Oakland in late September and he struck out Alex Rodriguez to send the Rangers to the World Series in Game 6 of the ALCS at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Coming into Thursday's game, Feliz was 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in four spring games (three starts). He had 12 strikeouts and six walks.
Feliz said the club mentioned that the door to starting won't be closed.
"I'm going to prepare mentally for the closer's job and that's all I'm thinking about right now," Feliz said.
Feliz said by stretching out this spring, his secondary stuff improved. He has a new cutter, which he's gaining confidence in, and his changeup has gotten better.
"I've had more repetitions and been able to throw to more hitters and throw more innings," Feliz said. "I'm more ready than I was last year. I'm ready to do whatever it takes to help the team win."