Frank Francisco close to a return to Mets' bullpen

Mets reliever Frank Francisco during a spring training

Mets reliever Frank Francisco during a spring training workout at Tradition Field. (Feb. 13, 2013) (Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa)

Reliever Frank Francisco may be closing in on his return to the bullpen.

Team officials are deciding on what will come next for the righthander, who has excelled in his five rehab outings with Class A St. Lucie. General manager Sandy Alderson said Thursday that Francisco will likely continue his minor-league rehab at a higher level than Class A.

"It's possible that we send him elsewhere," Alderson said.

Francisco, 33, has allowed no runs on one hit in five appearances with St. Lucie. He last pitched on Wednesday.

Francisco has been working his way back from right elbow inflammation related to offseason surgery.

Feliciano on the shelf

Pedro Feliciano has hit another speed bump in his attempt to pitch in the big leagues for the first time since 2010. The veteran lefthander was placed on the disabled list Thursday after experiencing lingering effects from food poisoning.

"The food poisoning has reared its head again," Alderson said.

Feliciano, 36, has been dealing with the issue since late last month, when the team cleared him to visit his son in Puerto Rico. He returned to pitch in three games before the Mets put him back on the DL.

This spring, Feliciano consented to begin the season in the minors to increase his durability and velocity, in hopes of returning to the Mets' bullpen. In five appearances with St. Lucie, Feliciano has a 1.95 ERA. His velocity has returned to the mid-80s.

 

Extra bases

Righthander Jenrry Mejia will return to game action tomorrow with St. Lucie, Alderson said. Mejia has been sidelined since spring training with right forearm tendinitis . . . In a pregame ceremony, Matt Harvey received his National League pitcher of the month award.

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