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Pedro Feliciano asked by Mets to start season in the minors

Mets pitcher Pedro Feliciano throws a bullpen session

Mets pitcher Pedro Feliciano throws a bullpen session during a spring training workout at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Feb. 13, 2013) (Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa)

Pedro Feliciano's comeback attempt hit a snag on Monday morning when the Mets informed him he will not make the team.

Concerned about his lack of velocity -- his fastballs have consistently registered in the low-80s -- the Mets want Feliciano to spend a month in Triple-A to build up his arm strength. The lefthander said he hasn't decided what he'll do next. He could simply accept the assignment or opt out of his minor league deal to catch on with another team.

Feliciano, who posted a 2.08 ERA in 4 1/3 innings this spring, believes he's proven he can get big league hitters out.

"Velocity don't mean nothing," said Feliciano, who admitted he was surprised by the decision.

New rules in the collective bargaining agreement required the Mets to inform Feliciano that he wouldn't make the team by Tuesday's deadline. He would be due a $100,000 bonus if he remains with the Mets.

During his first run with the Mets, Feliciano emerged as one of the game's most reliable specialists, holding lefties to a .210 average over his eight-year career. Feliciano, 36, signed a two-year, $12-million deal with the Yankees in 2011 only to be derailed by an injury that required major shoulder surgery.

Prior to surgery, his fastball averaged about 87 mph, though he has fallen far short of that in spring training.

The Mets intend to carry two lefties. Josh Edgin and Robert Carson appear most likely go North with the Mets. Edgin, was 1-2 with a 4.56 ERA for the Mets in 2012 and Carson had a 4.73 ERA last season. Both players throw in the mid-90s with their fastballs.

A third lefty, Scott Rice, remains in camp tough he's a longshot to make club. He was scheduled to pitch on Monday against the Braves but remained in Port St. Lucie to receive treatment.

Tags: Pedro Feliciano , Mets , Josh Edgin , Robert Carson

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