With Pedro Felciano told he won’t make the Opening Day roster and LaTroy Hawkins informed he would, the Mets’ bullpen appears set.
However, by no means is that cause for celebration.
Barring further injury, the Mets figure to keep seven relievers despite probably needed a dozen: Bobby Parnell is the closer with Frank Francisco going on the disabled list; lefthanders Josh Edgin and Robert Carson, both of whom made positive impressions last year; set-up reliever Brandon Lyon; submariner Greg Burke and situational righties Hawkins and Scott Atchison.
Only Parnell was on last season’s Opening Day roster.
For much of last year the Mets carried two lefthanders, but manager Terry Collins was left shorthanded and indicated that wouldn’t happen again.
The Mets burned out Feliciano in his first stint with them, but after he was released by the Yankees, they brought him back as a long shot.
It was thought Feliciano had a shot, but the Mets didn’t like his low 80s readings on the radar gun and offered him a minor league position so he could build up his arm strength. This appears to be a take-it-or-leave it proposal from the Mets, who did not give him a window to hook on with another major league team first.
The Mets had no alternative but to make a decision on Feliciano, because by tomorrow they would have been obligated to pay a $100,000 roster bonus. The Mets, or course, are counting every dollar.
“They told me I’m going to Triple-A for a month and get my strength back,’’ Feliciano told reporters this morning. “I have to talk to my agent first and then see what we’re going to decide.’’
Feliciano might feel slighted, but he’s not dealing from a position of strength and doesn’t have any alternatives. Given that, his best option is to accept the assignment.
Part of his decision-making process includes news left-hander Tim Byrdak, who is attempting to come back from shoulder surgery thinks he could be ready by June.
Things are more settled in the rotation with Johan Santana opening the season on the disabled list and Jeremy Hefner taking his spot in the rotation. The Mets were briefly concerned with Shaun Marcum, who received a cortisone injection in his shoulder last week.
Marcum responded and is scheduled to make his final exhibition start Thursday.
Barring complications, Marcum will start the Mets’ second game of the season, April 3, against San Diego at Citi Field.