Texas duo goes from spotlight to invisible
Once top starters, Harden, Feldman on postseason bubble
OAKLAND -- When Rich Harden is being interviewed, he is almost always standing erect in front of his locker, arms folded across his chest and a pleasant, welcoming smile on his face.Win or lose, he answers questions in the same calm, soft, polite voice, occasionally punctuating his short, direct answers with a shrug of the shoulders. He is never demonstrative. At this point of the season, he has also become almost invisible. He seems to prefer it that way. His time with the Rangers is coming to a close and he is ready to slip away quietly in the night. "I'm doing well ... feeling well," Harden said when asked about his situation. "It's all right. There's not much to say. I really don't have anything for you." Scott Feldman was slightly more expansive when asked how he was doing these days. "It's all right," Feldman said Thursday afternoon before the Rangers' 5-0 loss to Oakland. "I just wish I was contributing to the team a little more ... a lot more. I'm just trying to stay ready. If they need me, I'm more than ready. I'd be happy to contribute in some way." The Rangers haven't asked much from him. He pitched two innings in relief of Cliff Lee on Thursday night, his first appearance in two weeks. Harden has not pitched since Sept. 11. Feldman has pitched three times in September and Harden twice, while every other reliever has pitched at least five times. Pedro Strop, a right-hander who spent most of the season in the Minors, has made six appearances. The Rangers are on the verge of going to the playoffs, but -- in a strange twist of fate -- they likely won't be taking the two pitchers who were No. 1 and No. 2 in their rotation at the beginning of the season. Texas expected to be playoff contenders, but nobody thought Harden and Feldman would be all but forgotten as the season came to a conclusion. "We talked about our pitching depth at the beginning of the year," general manager Jon Daniels said. "We were counting on our depth coming into play, picking up the back spots of the rotation. The way it worked out -- in baseball you never know what's going to happen. The way it played out, our depth really propped up the front end." Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson will be the Rangers' top two starters in the playoffs. Harden and Feldman are not expected to be on the postseason roster. "I don't even know how the postseason roster works," Feldman said. "Maybe if I finish up strong they'll have confidence in me. I'm not worried about that. I'm just trying to be ready when they need me."
Scott Feldman 2009 vs. 2010
Rich Harden 2009 vs. 2010
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.