SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Brendan Donnelly felt he was pitching "pretty good." The Rangers felt otherwise.

Donnelly, a former All-Star reliever for the Angels, was released by the Rangers on Thursday morning, leaving seven relievers fighting for four spots in the bullpen.

"The guy took the ball when we sent him out there ..." manager Ron Washington said. "But with the guys we have left in camp, we feel we can find seven guys to fill the roles we're looking for."

Donnelly made six appearances and allowed five runs on 13 hits and a walk while striking out five. Under the terms of his Minor League contract, he could have taken his free agency on Friday if he wasn't added to the Major League roster. But the simple fact is he just did not impress those who were evaluating him and did not show the stuff that made him one of the best setup relievers in the game while with the Angels in 2002-06.

Donnelly had Tommy John elbow transplant surgery on Aug 14, 2007 while with the Red Sox and an 8.56 ERA in 15 games with the Indians at the end of last season.

"I didn't see this one coming," Donnelly said. "Basically I don't know if the out-date came into play. We were going to talk to them this morning about extending it. I thought I was throwing the ball pretty good. I gave up a couple of runs but I was told not to walk anybody and I didn't.

"I came in there and pounded the zone. Spring Training is a process, each day you work on something and then you put the final package together at the end. I thought I've thrown the ball better than I have the past couple of years."

Right now the Rangers bullpen consists of closer Frank Francisco and left-handed setup relievers Eddie Guardado and C.J. Wilson. That leaves seven candidates for four spots: right-handers Warner Madrigal, Josh Rupe, Willie Eyre, Derrick Turnbow, Doug Mathis and Dustin Nippert and left-hander Jimmy Gobble.

"They are all throwing the ball well," Washington said. "They'll have to separate themselves."

Two other candidates could be considered. One is Scott Feldman, who right now is in the rotation but could move back to the bullpen if needed. That would allow Kris Benson to move into the rotation.

"We haven't talked about that yet," Washington said. "Right now Feldman is still getting his starts. The next time we have a meeting, all of that will be covered. We've got to put a team together."

The other candidate could be Jason Jennings. The Rangers have talked about moving him into a relief role although there is clearly some reluctance since he's coming off elbow surgery.

"I wouldn't want to throw that at him right off the bat," Washington said. "We're going to continue to stretch him out. The last thing we want to do is hurt him."