Due to his free agent status this winter, the New York Mets had to tell Pedro Feliciano by yesterday whether or not he will be making the team. If they told him he would not, there are two choices. Feliciano can either take a $100K bonus to head to the minor leagues (and can opt out by June if he’s not in the Bigs), or opt out of his contract right now and look for a Major League job. The lefty is currently weighing his options, as the Mets notified him he will not be in the Opening Day bullpen, and they would like him to spend a month in Triple-A to build up his arm strength.
Feliciano was upset by the news, as any athlete would be, as he said he felt he was Major League-ready right now. His fastball velocity currently stands around 82-83 mph, but he said that isn’t a big deal, and that pitchers don’t need to throw strikes to get left-handed hitters out. Later on, Adam Rubin reported the decision was made to ask Perpetual Pedro to head to the minors because of his durability, not his lack of velocity. I had questioned Feliciano’s durability myself, and it was confirmed yesterday when Terry Collins said the reliever is not able to throw back-to-back days yet.
It wasn’t that he didn’t have a good spring (2.08 ERA, 1.15 WHIP), but he appeared in 8 games, while only throwing 4.1 innings. I haven’t gotten the chance to watch a lot of spring training games, but when I look at the box score afterward, he rarely stayed in the game for more than a batter or two. With the way Collins uses his lefties, he needs ones that can pitch two or three days in a row before getting some rest. A veteran lefty would be preferred instead of having both Josh Edgin and Robert Carson in the ‘pen, but Tim Byrdak is eyeing a return to the Bigs in late June, which would fill that void.
LaTroy Hawkins was in the same boat as Feliciano, but the 40-year-old got great news, as the Mets notified him he made the Opening Day bullpen, as he’s put together a 0.00 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 5.2 IP (6 appearances) in Grapefruit League play. Although he went 0-for-5 while playing 7 innings in the field, Daniel Murphy played in a minor league game for the second straight day, and he continues to try and get himself ready to play on Monday. David Wright took grounders and hit BP for the second straight day and still feels good; Collins said they’d like to get him in a game by the middle of this week, and the Captain is optimistic he’ll be ready to roll on Opening Day.
New York went to Disney and beat the Atlanta Braves yesterday, 7-4. Dillon Gee bounced back from a couple sub-par outings, as he threw 6 innings, allowed 2 hits, no walks, and struck out 7. Collin Cowgill added a solo homer and RBI single to help power the offense. Sam Maxwell has your Rising Apple Recap right here.
We continued our MLB season preview yesterday, as each writer contributed their predictions on how each division will finish this season. Today, we’ll take it a step further and predict each round of the playoffs. I told you all the great news that will be Rising Apple’s year-long tribute to the 1973 Mets (which starts today with a season preview, by the way), while Danny Abriano talked about the similarities between this year’s Mets squad and the 1983 version.