Rangers want Feliz to be upfront about any issues
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers reliever Neftali Feliz has never been much of a talker. The Rangers want him to work on that part of his game.
The club wants to know what's going on with Feliz when he has outings like he had on Friday against the Brewers, when his velocity was down and his secondary pitches were erratic. The Rangers found out the next day that Feliz was dealing with a "dead body," and that may have contributed to the lackluster performance.
"I think Feliz's issue is communication more than anything," manager Ron Washington said. "We understand the velocity will take some time, but he needs to keep us aware with how he's feeling. When he has a day like the other day and he has a 'dead body,' he needs to communicate with us. Let us know how you feel and what's going on when we ask you."
Feliz, who missed almost all of 2013 while recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, came into camp hoping to be the Rangers' closer. He didn't achieve his goal. Instead Joakim Soria will handle the ninth inning, and Feliz still needs to win a job in the bullpen.
The biggest concern is Feliz's velocity has been around 91-93 mph this spring. He averaged 96 mph during his two years as Texas' closer in 2010-11.
"It depends on the day, sometimes you have velocity and sometimes you don't," Feliz said. "But I feel good. I have to keep working hard, and as soon as my velocity is up, I will be back to where I was."
Feliz said he was not disappointed at being passed over for the closer's role, and he's not concerned that he has to win a spot in the bullpen.
"It's not my decision," Feliz said. "It's out of my control. First of all, I'm healthy. My first goal is to keep myself healthy."
Out call overturned on replay, Rangers get extra run
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- It was a good thing that Rangers manager Ron Washington opted to take advantage of replay on Sunday.
The Rangers scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning against the Padres, though it was nearly three runs.
Michael Choice lined a double into the left-field corner that scored one run, though Leonys Martin was cut down at the plate on a relay throw from left fielder Carlos Quentin to shortstop Everth Cabrera to catcher Yasmani Grandal.
The play was close enough that Washington decided to challenge the call.
"I asked Martin if he was safe, and he said yes, so I asked for a review," Washington said. "[Third-base coach Gary Pettis] said he got in there too, but Martin was adamant."
The umpires then conferred behind home plate for between two and three minutes while an official took a look at the play in the truck. The call was then overturned, the Rangers were awarded another run and the inning resumed -- even after all the players had left the field.
Choice was given two RBIs on the double and the inning continued, though Padres reliever Alex Torres struck out J.P. Arencibia to end the frame to preserve a 10-5 lead.
Soto leaves game early with right leg injury
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers catcher Geovany Soto left Sunday's game against the Padres in the second inning when his right leg locked up on him. Soto was able to walk off the field and to the clubhouse, but he was taken for an MRI exam.
Soto missed three weeks earlier in camp after undergoing surgery to have a bone removed from his left foot. This injury is unrelated.
Soto was behind the plate for two long innings with Joe Saunders on the mound for the Rangers. Saunders gave up five runs in the first inning while throwing 29 pitches. All five runs were unearned because of an error by second baseman Adam Rosales. Saunders threw another 23 pitches in the second inning while giving up four more runs.
Soto left the game after a single by Jedd Gyorko gave the Padres an 8-0 lead. Saunders threw one more pitch that Xavier Nady drove to left-center for a double, and he was then removed in favor of Shawn Tolleson. J.P. Arencibia replaced Soto behind the plate.
Plate adjustments paying off for Arencibia
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers wanted to see more from catcher J.P. Arencibia in the closing days of Spring Training. Arencibia is responding to the challenge.
Arencibia, who was not in the lineup on Sunday but replaced Geovany Soto in the second inning, was 2-for-3 with a double on Saturday against the Royals, and he has six hits in his last 16 at-bats. Manager Ron Washington said Arencibia has been working with hitting coach Dave Magadan on covering the whole plate rather than pulling off. A double to right-center on Saturday was a good sign.
"It's just a progression of Spring Training," Arencibia said. "Unfortunately I don't play winter ball in the offseason, so I'm not in shape to go full-go right away. The more at-bats you get, that stuff will come. The last five games, the consistency has been there. I've been working with Dave to tighten things down."
The Rangers signed Arencibia this offseason to be their backup catcher, but now he finds himself trying to stave off the challenge of Robinson Chirinos.
"I just had to step on the gas a little bit more, no more working on things and going about it trying to get ready for March 31," Arencibia said. "Now it's just about going out there and playing."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.