Bringing back Feliciano not a given

One of the Mets’ most interesting off-season decisions will be what to do with Pedro Feliciano. The departure of Hisanori Takahashi doesn’t necessarily mean bringing back Feliciano is a formality.

FELICIANO: Not a given he'll be back.

Willie Randolph and Jerry Manuel wore down Feliciano, pushing the envelope with him against right-handed hitters over the past three years. Feliciano led the league in appearances for three straight seasons with 86, 88 and 92 in 2008, 2009 and last year, respectively.

“The Mets over used him because they didn’t really have any other better options against right-handed hitters,” one scout said. “There were signs he was wearing down. He’d be better off strictly against lefties.”

He’ll be 35 in 2011 and if he doesn’t have more of a refined role, there are concerns he could wear down. In three more innings pitched last season than in 2009, Feliciano’s ERA rose by a third of a run, and he gave up 15 more hits and 12 more walks.

Feliciano, as much as he wanted an expanded role, proved vulnerable against right-handed hitters with a .336 average against compared to .264 from the previous year.

Feliciano’s pre-All-Star ERA was 2.34, but his post-All-Star ERA was 4.50, including 5.23 in July and 6.75 in August when the season slipped away from the Mets.

The shelf life of a reliever is short to begin with, and considering his age and that there are breakdown signs already, don’t be surprised if the Mets cut him loose and looked for a younger, cheaper arm elsewhere.

3 thoughts on “Bringing back Feliciano not a given

  1. Yeah.

    I like Feliciano. Howerver, he is getting old. I guess it depends on price and years. I would not want to see him go, but I would understand it.

  2. If he was used the way a reliever has always been used then this would be a non issue.
    I foresee the pitch count morphing.. and more relievers feel the burn I believe what happened the last 5-10 years will change for the better. especially for the mets.

  3. I can’t see the Mets shelling out 3 to 4 mil for him, and I can’t see the Mets offering arbitration with the fear he accepts it. I’d like to keep him around too, but it’s alot of money to pay for a one or two batter specialist.