After Brian Cashman publicly accused the Mets of abusing Pedro Feliciano, Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen rightfully didn’t find the comments particularly amusing. Warthen responded, “[Feliciano] volunteered for the baseball every day. He was asked whether he was able to pitch. He said ‘yes’ every day — every day — and wanted to pitch more than we even pitched him.” Warthen then added [regarding Cashman not Feliciano], “I feel badly that someone feels that way. That was part of the reason we decided to not re-sign him — because we knew we had used him 270-some times in the last three years.” According to ESPN, Feliciano is upset…about Dan Warthen’s comments–not Cashman’s. Now, I can understand not wanting to piss off your new boss–especially after he hands you a check for $8 million–but isn’t Warthen just spitting the truth?
Apparently, the truth hurts. While Feliciano was never injured with the Mets, his 408 games (or 299.6 innings) from 2006 to 2010 have apparently taken a toll. Since the lefty reliever is 34 years old and has all of those appearances under his belt, isn’t Warthen’s comments within the realm of sanity, and not to be taken personally by Feliciano? Teams have to evaluate players using the information at hand–mostly production, age, and in the case of pitchers, innings/appearances. The Mets were correct to not re-sign Feliciano due to his age and the amount of innings he’s logged over the past five seasons. The important distinction, however, is that they didn’t re-sign him because they were worried about an injury–not because he was already injured. Mind you, this criteria-based decision is one not only the Mets have to make every off-season, but also one all major league teams have to make too.
As Matthew Cerrone pointed out in his post on the topic, exchanging words in the world of sports is nothing new, and it’s certainly nothing to harp on about. If anything, it just makes the upcoming Yankees/Mets series that much more interesting.