Midseason Analysis: Pedro Feliciano


As a result of the signing of Scott Schoeneweis, Pedro Feliciano was pushed to the far side of the bullpen in spring training, and some pundits did not even include him in their “projected” rosters during the preseason. Despite his fairly successful 2006, Feliciano was considered by some to be an extra luxury — he’d be a usable LOOGY while Schoeneweis would likely grab most of the lefthanded innings not handed to Billy Wagner.

It’s safe to say things don’t always turn out according to plan.

While Feliciano had a strong 2006, his 2007 has been sensational. The lefty sidewinder with the loopy slider has been getting all the big outs Schoeneweis was supposed to manage, and extinguishing the fires Chad Bradford used to put out. He’s been equally adept against lefties and righties, limiting lefthanded swingers to a miniscule .106 batting average and one extra-base hit in 48 at-bats. More importantly, he’s extended his role from LOOGY to full-inning man, and slowly emerging as the Mets’ most reliable setup reliever.

Second-half Outlook

Feliciano is on the pitcher’s version of a hot streak, and the only question is, can he keep it going? Since this is only his third year of sidearm slinging, there’s reason to believe he’s only now getting the hang of it, and may yet reach his peak. After pitching in 104 games over this year and last, the element of surprise is no longer on his side — so his effectiveness has to have something to do with skill.

Naturally, there’s no reason to expect him to continue with his superhuman effort — he’s due to have a few bad outings eventually — but over the course of the last 70 or so games, he should remain one of the most effective arms coming out of the Mets’ bullpen. Lord knows they need him to be, with the inconsistencies of Schoeneweis, Aaron Heilman, and Guillermo Mota making the relief corps the team’s biggest question mark.

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. JIMMYJ723 July 11, 2007 at 6:03 pm
    Feliciano has been great so far but for some reason I’m just not sold on him. It’s nothing other than a gut feeling. His numbers have been good (this year and last), his stuff has been good and he’s handled pressure situations well. But for some reason, I just not a believer. IMHO, he’s just a mediocre reliever having a good season. Hopefully he’ll continue to prove me wrong.
  2. joe July 11, 2007 at 10:16 pm
    I must say, I had zero faith in him last year, and didn’t get all the excitement surrounding him then.

    The way I saw it, yeah he had a great ERA, but he allowed too many inherited runners to score. It seemed like ChadBrad was always bailing him out of trouble.

    This year, though, you have to say he’s been money.

    Let’s hope he can continue it.