PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Lefty specialist Pedro Feliciano will remain in Florida to pitch for Class-A Port St. Lucie. instead of joining the team's Triple-A club Las Vegas. Feliciano, who decided on Tuesday to remain with the organization, will likely need about a month to build strength in his left shoulder.
Feliciano, 36, has been effective in Grapefruit League play despite velocity readings in the low 80s. However, the Mets asked the veteran to accept a minor league assignment to strengthen his shoulder to the point where he would work effectively on consecutive days.
"I'm going to prove that I can do it," Feliciano said.
Of Feliciano's 459 career appearances, 162 of them have come on no days' rest while 130 have come with just one days' rest. In the past, the lefty has shown the ability to bounce back quickly. Consider his splits:
No days rest: 3.50 ERA, 3.00 strikeouts-to-walks, .245 opponent average.
One day rest: 1.95 ERA, 3.00 strikeouts-to-walks, .222 opponent average.
But this spring, manager Terry Collins said he noticed a dip in sharpness when Feliciano pitched in consecutive games. Though Feliciano disagrees with the assessment, he opted to stay with the Mets instead of exercising the out clause in his contract. For staying, Feliciano received a $100,000 bonus. He maintains hopes of working his way back to the big leagues for the first time since 2010.
"I want to be here," said Feliciano, a workhorse for the Mets before spending the previous two seasons battling shoulder problems with the Yankees.