Neftalí Féliz, the former Rookie of the Year and All-Star closer, had not pitched in the majors since 2017. But that changed on June 25, when the 33-year-old right-hander was called up to the Phillies, with whom he signed a minor league contract in January.
Féliz did not feel brotherly love in Philadelphia, allowing four runs in two games. His first game back in the majors saw him enter with a two-run lead in the seventh inning, with his three-run outing rolling the snowball down the very large hill of a game the Phillies lost 12-4.
The folks at The Good Phight graded Féliz’s time with the Phillies an F, and he was gone a week later. After getting designated for assignment, Féliz opted for free agency on July 3, then two days later signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers.
After a 38.2-percent strikeout rate in five weeks with Triple-A Oklahoma City, and a 3.38 ERA in a league averaging 5.74 runs per game got Féliz a call-up to the Dodgers on August 16, in the midst of the heaviest reliever-churning month in franchise history.
The churn continued with Féliz, who pitched once for the Dodgers before getting designated for assignment and sent outright to Triple-A, off the 40-man roster. This time, Féliz accepted the assignment, and thrived, striking out nine of his 18 batters faced in three games with OKC.
Immaculate Inning Alert!— Alex Freedman (@azfreedman) August 30, 2021
In his first inning since returning to OKC, Neftalí Felíz struck out all 3 batters faced in the 6th inning on a total of 9 pitches.
First immaculate inning by an OKC pitcher since José De Leon in 2016.#Dodgers
Féliz got another call to the majors on September 6, and pitched twice more for the Dodgers, tossing two more scoreless innings. He was designated for assignment again on September 9, and accepted another minor league assignment, finishing out the year with Oklahoma City.
Féliz with the Dodgers spent 11 days on the active and 40-man rosters. In addition to the three scoreless innings in the majors, and being one of the franchise-record 30 Dodgers pitchers with at least one game finished in 2021, he had a 4.39 ERA, 4.34 FIP, and 37.5-percent strikeout rate in Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Stats: 9.00 ERA, 6.42 FIP, 5 G, 4 IP, 3 K, 1 BB; 3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 K w/Dodgers
Game of the year
August 22 was Féliz’s first game with the Dodgers, facing the Mets at home. He pitched a perfect eighth inning in 11 pitches, including a strikeout of Patrick Mazeika. That was Feliz’s lone strikeout in three major league games with the Dodgers.
Féliz was the 36th pitcher used by the Dodgers in 2021. Shane Greene followed in the ninth, the 37th pitcher for LA. The Dodgers set a franchise record with 39 pitchers used this year.
After getting sent outright to Triple-A in September, Féliz elected free agency in October.