Mets History: Showing some appreciation for Pedro Feliciano
By Edward Lennon
During his time as a New York Mets reliever, lefty Pedro Feliciano was about as reliable as they come and available regularly out of the bullpen.
When reminiscing about the New York Mets franchise from 2006 to 2010, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Jose Reyes would be the players that would come to mind. These were the producers, the All-Stars and the faces of the franchise at the time.
One name that people often forget is Pedro Feliciano. The Puerto Rican native was the backbone of the organization’s bullpen during that span.
Feliciano appeared in many crucial games during this time, earning the nickname “The Perpetual Pedro” from long-time Mets announcer Gary Cohen. He was a workhorse for the Mets. Starting off as just a left-handed specialist, he transformed into such a vital part of the club’s bullpen.
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Feliciano’s path to the big leagues was not an ordinary nor simple one. Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1995, Feliciano had a long journey to the majors. The Reds signed him in 2002 after six years of service in the minors without being promoted. The Mets acquired Feliciano in August 2002 from the Cincinnati Reds via trade. He made his debut that September.
Experiencing some success, as long with some struggles, Feliciano was back and forth between the majors and Triple-A during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Prior to the 2005 season, Feliciano signed with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League. He recorded 36 strikeouts in 37 innings for the Hawks.
Right before the beginning of the 2006 season, the Mets wanted the lefty back and signed Feliciano to a 1-year contract. 2006 was Feliciano’s first full season in the majors. He became a significant part of the Met’s bullpen for their playoff run, which eventually ended when they lost in the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
From then on, Feliciano became a dominant force. The lefty led the majors in relief appearances from 2007 to 2010, appearing in 344 game total. He was the guy the Mets wanted on the mound in a close game. He was a very clutch performer. In 2010, he passed all-time great Tom Seaver to reach second-place in franchise history for games pitched, only trailing long-time Met John Franco.
After the 2010 season, Feliciano signed with the Yankees but never played for the team due to injury. He found his way back to the Mets in 2013. He was signed to a minor league deal and eventually debuted in August.
The Perpetual Pedro only pitched three games that year. That was the last time Feliciano played in the majors. Despite signing contracts with other teams, Feliciano spent his whole career in orange and blue, never pitching for another team.
As an often-overlooked part of the Mets during his tenure, Feliciano was a staple of their bullpen. For four seasons, he was constantly relied on to perform in difficult situations and in consecutive games.
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Feliciano was a prime example of a player who played with heart. He did whatever he possibly could for New York every season he spent with them. He should not just be an ordinary former relief pitcher of New York’s past, but remembered and appreciated as a competitor who did all that he could for team out in Flushing.