Perpetual Pedro Returns

According to Mets.com, Pedro Feliciano has been signed to a minor-league deal.

With his minor-league contract comes an invitation to spring training. Feliciano spent the last two years enjoying the comforts of the Bronx Country Club, collecting many millions from the Steinbrenners. In an unusually remarkable stroke of good luck, the Mets let a pitcher go at just the right time — and may have brought him back at just the right time.

If Feliciano is healthy and back to the form that saw him pitch as often as three times in a doubleheader (OK, maybe I’m exaggerating – but only a little), he’s a cinch to make the 2013 Mets. However, I haven’t seen him since his rotator cuff injury (and surgery), so have no idea whether he still has the stuff to pitch at the Major League level. Feliciano nearly returned to the bigs late last year, after appearing in ten games at four different levels of the minors during his rehab assignment. He struck out 10 in 9 1/3 innings, but I don’t really know what that means, considering it was such a small sample size, and since 8 of those innings happened below AA.

If nothing else, it will be interesting to see if there is any drama in Mets camp upon his return. For those who forgot, there was something of a shouting match in the New York tabloids back in April 2011 between Feliciano and Dan Warthen (thanks to Bleeding Yankee Blue for the reminder). From The New York Post:

“That’s not right when he said, ‘That’s why we let him go,’ ” said Feliciano, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a sore left shoulder. “I read that and it hurts because I like Dan.”

Feliciano then pointed to May 20, when the Mets come to Yankee Stadium.

“I will show him in the Subway Series,” Feliciano said. “When I strike out Ike Davis and I jump on the mound [pointing his finger as if Warthen were in front of him], I’ll say, ‘That’s for you.’ ”

“That was part of the reason we decided not to re-sign him,” Warthen said, “because we knew we had used him 270-something times in the last three years.”

“I feel hurt a little bit about [Warthen's comments] because they didn’t really let me go because I pitched a lot of games,” Feliciano said. “I didn’t sign with them because they offered me one year. Me and my agent wanted a multi-year [contract], two or more years, and they just gave me one. That’s why I’m not a Met right now.”

Naturally, there will be a public apology / love fest / group hug between Feliciano and Warthen at some point after pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie. But I get the feeling that, behind closed doors, Warthen is saying “Nyah, nyah, I told you so!”

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. JoeBourgeois January 21, 2013 at 3:53 pm
    Is it just me or is Warthen’s admission that they blew out Feliciano’s arm a very, very stupid thing to say in the context of 1) trying to bring any new pitchers on in the future and 2) trying to retain your job as a pitching coach?
    • Joe Janish January 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm
      It’s not just you. It’s stunning that Warthen continues to have a job despite the inappropriate things he’s said publicly over the years. Why in the world is he providing ANY quotes to the media, much less self-destructive ones? Do even Yankee fans know who the pitching coach in the Bronx is?

      It’s no wonder that the Mets can’t sign decent relievers. Who would want to go to a team that treats their pitchers like cheap old shoes? Just keep wearing them out until the sole detaches, then throw them away!

  2. DaveSchneck January 21, 2013 at 6:13 pm
    Joe,
    I heard Warthen went to scout Pedro before the offer – asked him to throw 375 pitches at the workout.In an offseason that has been blah so far for Met fans, I must say that it would be nice if Perpetual Pedro found a way to contribute to the Mets once again after the Yanks paid him $8 mil to throw zero pitches at the major league level.
  3. Izzy January 22, 2013 at 7:19 pm
    Oh boy another hollow feel good story to try to hide another losing season. Does anybody remember when the goal was winning?
    • Joe Janish January 22, 2013 at 9:41 pm
      “winning” … hmm … can’t quite remember what that word means. Is it whining while one is swimming?