Phillies: Neftali Feliz comeback on hold due to visa issues

Neftali Feliz #30, formerly of the Texas Rangers (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Neftali Feliz #30, formerly of the Texas Rangers (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Whether it be Brandon Kintzler, Bryan Mitchell, Ivan Nova, Hector Rondon, Tony Watson, or Michael Ynoa, these non-roster invitee pitchers received a chance this spring to show why they deserve an Opening Day roster spot with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Neftali Feliz, a nine-year veteran, as well as a 2010 American League All-Star and Rookie of the Year, was supposed to be among those pitchers — however, bad luck since his mid-December deal with the Phillies has prevented him from taking the mound.

Phillies invitee pitcher Neftali Feliz will have to wait to complete his comeback.

Feliz has finally joined the team in recent days after having visa issues in order to leave the Dominican Republic, according to’s Todd Zolecki. The 32-year-old has not pitched in the majors since 2017, when he recorded a 4.74 ERA and 1.316 WHIP ratio across 20 appearances and 19 innings pitched with the Kansas City Royals.

Feliz essentially has no chance to make the Opening Day roster, given there are just over a handful of games left before the team departs Clearwater. He can opt out of his minor-league deal with the Phillies on March 29, but chances are likely that he will accept an assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and try to make the big-league roster later on this coming season.

Through an interpreter, Feliz said that whenever the Phillies give him a chance to pitch in the majors, he will be ready. “I’m just trying to control what I can control, which is preparing myself every day and being ready for that opportunity,” he added.

Feliz pitched the first six-plus seasons of his career with the Texas Rangers, going 13-10 with a 2.69 ERA, 1.056 WHIP, and 242-101 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 261 1/3 innings.

Along with the Rangers (2009-15), Feliz has also pitched for the Detroit Tigers (2015), Pittsburgh Pirates (2016), Milwaukee Brewers (2017), and Kansas City Royals (2017). He pitched parts of the 2015 season under Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, then of the Tigers.

More. Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto on track to start Opening Day. light