Fantasy Baseball, Pedro Feliciano and Jerry Being Jerry
It sounds like Pedro Feliciano might be the new setup man for the Mets, at least according to Rotoworld. The fantasy baseball site is basing their information on an article by Andy McCullough in the Newark Star-Ledger.
I can’t find anything in the Star-Ledger article to back this up. Here’s the best I can come up with:
But with Mets manager Jerry Manuel rummaging through the bullpen for an eighth-inning answer, Feliciano has faced more righties than lefties this year. Both Fernando Nieve and Ryota Igarashi flamed out. So Manuel says Feliciano leads the team’s set-up committee alongside 39-year-old journeyman Elmer Dessens.
So will Feliciano retain his niche as the team’s left-handed specialist? Or does the team need him to set the table for closer Francisco Rodriguez?
“I know he wants it,” Rodriguez said. “He wants that job. He’s working so hard to establish himself in the set-up role.”
Feliciano led all of baseball in appearances these past two seasons – 88 in 2009 and 86 in 2008. After a clean eighth inning on Saturday, he notched his 37th appearance and extended his lead for this year’s title.
“There’s a ton of value,” assistant general manager John Ricco said, “for a guy like that – especially the way he can get lefties out – in our division.”
When I read that article, it seems like the Mets haven’t yet found an 8th-inning guy. In other words, it is still bullpen-by-committee. That’s fine, the committee has been working and Feliciano is a big part of that. But let’s not assume the Mets have figured out their bullpen situation for the long term.
Don’t discount RotoWorld because it is a fantasy baseball site. It is usually a great place to find out what’s really going on with injuries, bullpen roles and playing time controversies – they have a way of cutting through the media reports and PR spin from MLB teams. But in this case, I think they’ve fallen victim to Jerry being Jerry. To think the Mets have a hard and fast plan that they can stick to in the 8th inning is a bit presumptuous, until it is demonstrated in game situations, over a period of time.
If we believe every idea floated by Jerry Manuel, then Carlos Beltran will be the DH this weekend…
Read the article yourself and share your conclusions in the comments section.
All kidding aside, the idea of Pedro Feliciano as a setup man is a recipe for disaster if another LHP is not brought in. He is already on pace to appear in about 95 games. It's borderline acceptable for a pitcher to appear in 80+ if he's only facing one batter / expending less than 10 pitches per appearance. But to be out there that often, and pitch full innings? Expect an injury or a significant drop in performance, if not both … unless Feliciano suddenly starts practicing the kinetic principles advocated by Mike Marshall.