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Feliciano hurt by Warthen's comments

Yankees reliever Pedro Feliciano will begin a six-week

Yankees reliever Pedro Feliciano will begin a six-week shoulder strengthening program with the hope that he can avoid surgery. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

It wasn't the number of innings and outings he pitched for the Mets last year that caused Pedro Feliciano pain, he said Monday at the Stadium. But some recent comments have stung more than any of what Brian Cashman called "abusive" use of the lefthander in recent years.

Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen noted that the number of appearances by Feliciano -- 266 in the past three seasons, including a franchise-record 92 last year -- weighed on the team's decision not to re-sign him.

"I feel a little hurt by that," Feliciano said before the opener of the Twins series. "They said they didn't sign me because [they knew] I'm going to blow up this year. That hurts. But I will come out from this injury and I will be telling him there is still a lot of Feliciano to go."

Feliciano is on the 15-day disabled list with a strain of his left rotator cuff. It's the first time he's been on the DL in his career, he said. He also noted that the reason he isn't still with the Mets is not because of his mileage but because they offered him only a one-year contract. He signed a two-year, $8-million deal with the Yankees with an option for a third season.

Feliciano also disagreed with Cashman's analysis that he was abused by the Mets.

"I think at some points, they just left me there with no reason," he said. "But I want to pitch. I want to be in there. That's what I like to do. And I think I was fine always. I never felt sore or anything. I always felt good."

Cashman levied the charge of "abuse" Saturday, using the word twice. He also seemed to second-guess the decision to acquire Feliciano, 34, but noted the thin market for lefthanded specialists.

It was no secret how much Feliciano had pitched. His 344 appearances from 2007-10 are a record for a four-year span.

"My arm never hangs and always feels good," Feliciano said of his physical state during that time. "Maybe it's something that can happen to any pitcher. You can have a good year and then get hurt. Hopefully, I go quickly and I'll be on the mound again soon."

Feliciano is expected to start throwing Wednesday or Thursday. Although there is no timetable for his return, he certainly is looking forward to returning at least by the end of May. That's when the Yankees face the Mets.

Feliciano hasn't called Warthen about the comments, but he's planning a rebuttal.

"I will show him in the Subway Series when I strike out Ike Davis," he said. "When I jump up and down on the mound, I'll be like, 'That's for you!' "


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