2010 Analysis: Pedro Feliciano

For the third consecutive season, Pedro Feliciano set a new Mets record for appearances by a pitcher, while leading the league in the same category. “Everyday Pedro” was exactly that, taking the ball 92 times – including a whopping 23 appearances in September / October. The modern-day Iron Joe McGinnity pitched without rest (i.e., back-to-back days) an incredible 43 times. Manager Jerry Manuel and pitching coach Dan Warthen both insisted that such use did not affect Feliciano’s performance, and didn’t physically harm him. Maybe not.

One stat proving their point was the number of homeruns he allowed – only one. Quite an accomplishment, especially considering he allowed 7 gopher balls in each of the previous seasons. Pedro also induced 10 double plays – which was, um, double what he did in 2009. But, his WHIP swelled to 1.53 (after a 1.16 posting in ’09) and his effectiveness was uneven – dropping off significantly in July and August. Those who look at stats in more depth will point out that opposing hitters’ BABIP of .351 as an indication that Pedro suffered from bad luck. Maybe … or, maybe batters were getting better pitches to hit than they did in the past.

Overall, his numbers weren’t terrible, and in fact he was quite good in stretches – not unlike a streaky hitter. It could be argued that Felciano’s drop in performance (if indeed there was one) was due as much to overuse as it was to his ever-changing role.

2011 Projection

Regardless of how you judge Feliciano’s season, the bottom line is that he continues to be one of the premier LOOGYs in MLB. The question is, what is that worth to a Mets club that is unlikely to sniff the postseason in 2011? Feliciano turned 34 in August, and isn’t likely to vastly improve any part of his game. He “is what he is”, which is a valuable asset to a championship club in need of one final bullpen piece. This winter he hits the open market as a free-agent, and it’s going to be hard for the Mets to justify spending more than the $2.9M he earned in 2010, and/or offering him beyond a one-year deal. As much as I have enjoyed my daily dose of Pedro over the past five years, it seems apparent that he’ll be wearing an opponent’s uniform in 2011.

Click here to read the 2009 Analysis of Pedro Feliciano

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Walnutz15 October 27, 2010 at 7:54 am
    The way things shaped up, he’s a Type B Free Agent.

    Appearances through the years:

    2007 — 78
    2008 — 86
    2009 — 88
    2010 — 92

    - He made $2.9MM this past season, really as nothing more than a LOOGY.

    - Has done alot of politicking; expressing a desire to be the “set-up” or “8th inning man”…even though you’re looking at a specialist-type pitcher who’d be entrusted to the most important innings of a ballgame.

    The Mets absolutely, positively, without a doubt need to be careful about offering this man arbitration. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not looking to fork over upward of $3.5-$4MM for a lefty specialist next year…who has all the makings of speaking out, provided he’s not slotted into the role he envisions for himself.

    Will it kill the Mets? No.

    Will it cost much more than it will be worth in the long-run — not only budget-wise…..but “finding a replacement in the pen”-wise?

    I think so.

    A great big THANK YOU to Feliciano for his years of service as a Met, but really – at this stage of his career, he’s very likely looking for a multi-year extension – in addition to what he might think he’s worth in terms of a role the Mets haven’t used him in.

    With a ton of innings and appearances on that arm, this is the exact kind of contract you want to avoid, IMHO. I know it’s not a glaring issue, but it’s something I’d like to turn the page on without really giving it much extra thought.

    Yes, the guy makes appearances……..but he can’t be considered a cross-over reliever — and at this stage of the game is at his best as a lefty specialist. No need to hand out another Scott Schoeneweis deal for someone who’s likely seen his best days.

    I have no doubt that he’d win his arbitration case, so really….the Mets need to be careful with this situation. Do you think it’d be worth the Type B compensation to even offer arbitration to Feliciano?

    Do you care if Feliciano leaves?

    Do you want him to stay more than anything else?

    Thoughts?

    Overall, I look at Feliciano’s situation — and seeing such increased usage from him through the years….in addition to the obvious problem he’s had vs. RH hitters: I’m not so sure that it’d be a good idea to risk offering him the arbitration……..I think he’d accept it.

    There are much worse problems to have, but entering into a winter where we don’t know where we’ll be next year — I think it’s time the Mets tip their cap to Pedro and send him out on the open market to grab a pay-day/potential role with a contending club.

    As always, we shall see. I’m very curious to see how Alderson is going to come in and conduct business with certain “on the bubble” players.

    I’m all for turning the page on certain players, coaches, and philosophies. It’s time to move on and see what he can start building here.

  2. Mike October 27, 2010 at 11:08 am
    Actually Walnutz I think he has already been declared as a Type A. If so, offer him arbitration, if he takes it then great you have your LOOGY and trade bait later in the season, if not then you get a few picks. Alderson knows what he is doing on that front.

    Somewhere in the link below is his projection, but I’m at work and can’t open the document.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pedro_feliciano/

    Point is, Walnutz, if he is a Type A, you HAVE TO offer him arbitration.

  3. Walnutz15 October 27, 2010 at 11:21 am
    I had gone back and forth on this with someone a few weeks ago, Mike.

    The latest rankings from Elias — October 4th — had Feliciano as a Type B.

    The Type A ranking you referred to was back from September.

    Pedro Feliciano New York N Type B Score: 66.733

    Additionally, I’m not sure that it’d be as easy as offer Arbitration and “take the pick” with him, though. I’d like a Supplemental Pick for him as compensation – just as much as anyone, don’t get me wrong.

    Alot really depends on the market for relievers this winter, though. He surely won’t sign with another club by December 2nd, waiting out the market the way other relievers have the past few years.

    I doubt anyone will really be rushing to overpay him, either….seeing as how guys like Beimel are “last-minute” jobs heading into ST or the regular season every year.

    You’d be hoping that he doesn’t wind up re-signing at the amount awarded at the arbitration ruling — at that rate, I could see him here next year at something like $3.5MM or so….which is Schoeneweis territory on a club that’s further off from contention than the 2007 Mets were at that point in time.

  4. Mike October 27, 2010 at 2:19 pm
    Well right now we have no idea what Alderson has planned. We really cannot begin to predict what the Mets will do because he is such a wild card. He will surely have a plan, but where Pedro fits in is any one’s guess. Though sign point to NOT overpaying for him or anyone. Exciting times these are.
  5. CatchDog October 28, 2010 at 9:09 am
    The lastest rankings, dated October 13th, show Pedro Dos is a Type B.

    Here’s the link –> http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011-mlb-free-agents/

    If that’s the case, having the 13th pick (protected) in the draft, combined with allowing Pedro to walk could provide the Mets with a couple first round picks (our 13th and a sandwich pick).

    This year will be one of the deepest drafts in years. A good opportunity for new management to put their fingerprints on the farm system.

  6. Walnutz15 October 28, 2010 at 9:52 am
    Thanks for the most recent confirmation, CatchDog. Didn’t think it sounded right that he was a Type A.

    My only reservation about offering Arbitration to him is that I think he’d accept it.

    The longer he waits on the market, the better the chance someone else is able to snatch him up on the cheap, like Will Ohman and Joe Beimel the past couple of years.

    Accepting Arby means he at least gets a raise, and works closer to $3.5MM or so in 2011…..no guarantee on the open market.

    I just see this as a situation where you’re paying someone for past performance, with an increased chance of his arm going on him as a member of the Mets.

    Lotta quantity on that left arm. Wonder how much quality will be left?

    I’m not holding my breath to find out, either.

    • CatchDog October 29, 2010 at 8:37 am
      Walnutz;

      Let’s assume that Sandy and Co. will make the correct decision with Perpetual Pedro. I’d like to believe that even if the Mets are on the hook for 3.5 mil but out of it at the July trading deadline, that Feliciano could have some trade value.

      We certainly saw what a few lefty specialists did to the Phillies’ hitters. Chase Utley, with a .182 average and Ryan Howard’s zero RBI’s in the post season was proof positive. You can’t count Raul Ibanez as the only way to time his bat speed now is with a sun dial…

  7. Walnutz15 October 29, 2010 at 11:16 am
    Good call, in that if Feliciano did stick around, then he’d become the front-running candidate to be dealt by Trade Deadline ’11….provided he performs – and the team’s not in contention.

    …………so long as his arm hasn’t fallen off by then.

    (Even still, what are you going to get in that kind of trade?)

    I’m with you on the general premise, but just think in the back of my mind that all of these appearances are going to start to catch up to Pedro before too long.

    A better bullpen minimizes the number of appearances he’ll make over the course of a season — granted — but I would rather not get tangled up with him on the hook for $3.5MM or more next year.

    I just think there’ll be other comparable lefty-arms on the market…..the usual suspects, if you will.

    Beimel
    Ohman
    Affeldt

    Guys who haven’t been averaging 86 appearances over the last 4 seasons…..again, I’m not pushing Feliciano out the door, but would rather not get burnt with him, either.

  8. Walnutz15 October 29, 2010 at 11:25 am
    P.S. – If we’re supposed to be putting any kind of stock in Metsblog:

    “From what I understand, now that he’s Type B, not a Type A, Feliciano will seek a multi-year deal worth around $4 million per season.”

    No way I’d want to tussle with more than a 1-year deal on Feliciano — especially if it’s anywhere near $4MM.

    I understand that it’s only talk, and that demands change as the Hot Stove progresses….but…..something to keep in mind.

    • CatchDog October 30, 2010 at 8:54 am
      Walnutz;

      100 percent with you. The fact that Pedro was a ‘B’ instead of an ‘A’ is supposed to be more of an advantage to the Mets because many teams who might have been interested, would NOT have wanted to part with their First round pick for a LOOGY.

      Also, we know that signing relievers to multi-year contracts are very risky.

      Like you mentioned, I guess we’ll see what our new GM and the Hot Stove brings.

      If Pedro is not signed, I’m thinking the headlines should read he was “Sandy Hooked”…