Sean Green clearly is relieved to have avoided a demotion with a string of strong performances late in spring training. Green, the lone remaining Met from the three-team trade with the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians that shipped out seven players and also brought back J.J. Putz, had not appeared in a minor-league game since 2007 with Triple-A Tacoma.
Green struck out the side Thursday against the Washington Nationals and closed his spring training with four scoreless appearances, shaving his Grapefruit League ERA from 6.75 to 4.09. He will remain in the bullpen with the Mets, who plan to dispatch left-hander Raul Valdes to Triple-A Buffalo to complete the cuts.
“It was an interesting spring. I don’t know exactly what the situation was before,” Green said, referring to where he stood roster-wise before the strong final week. “My goal was to come in here and finish a little better than what I was at the end of last year. I think I accomplished that.”
Green had arrived in camp with a Chad Bradford-like low arm angle. He reverted to the slot he used at the end of last season late in camp. He also moved to the right side of the rubber to try to hide the ball longer.
“I just slowly started working up,” Green said about the arm angle as the spring progressed. “I came in a little bit lower than what I thought I was working at in the offseason. After the first five or six outings, I just wasn’t getting any consistency with the lower arm angle. So I just started creeping back up to where I was last year.”
Valdes, who came to the Mets’ attention because of solid showings in the Dominican Republic during the offseason pitching against Buffalo manager Ken Oberkfell’s Escogido squad, is on loan from Tabasco in the Mexican League. The Mets are working out arrangements for him to remain in the minors, although it should be a month-to-month lease unless he’s promoted.
SHUFFLING TO BUFFALO? Right-hander Kiko Calero, who did not make the team out of spring training despite a 1.95 ERA with the Florida Marlins last season, is being given the choice of whether he wants to report to Buffalo. The Mets won’t force him into playing for the Bisons. Calero would earn $15,000 a month with Buffalo.
SHORT STOP ON DL: Jose Reyes went 1-for-3 with a double and two walks in a minor-league intrasquad game in Port St. Lucie. He played nine innings in the field. Reyes will be given Sunday off from game action. He’s eligible to be activated from the disabled list next Saturday.
WAITING GAME: Right-hander Nelson Figueroa won’t learn until Wednesday whether he has cleared waivers, since weekend days don’t count on the clock. Figueroa would be on another major-league team if claimed. Otherwise, he has the right to declare himself a free agent. In that scenario, Figueroa is expected to pursue a lucrative contract in Japan.
WORKING OUT: Closer Francisco Rodriguez plans to be in New York for Sunday’s workout. K-Rod had flown to Venezuela after his brother was involved in a car accident.
THE NEXT MEJIA: General manager Omar Minaya insists there’s another Jenrry Mejia in the pipeline. He’s right-hander Armando Rodriguez, who is ticketed for low-A Savannah. The 22-year-old Rodriguez, who was signed in 2007 out of the Dominican Republic, went a combined 5-2 with a 2.74 ERA in 12 starts between Class A Kingsport and Savannah last season.
NOT CLEANING UP: Mike Jacobs, who will hit fourth, between David Wright and Jason Bay, has his worst average in the cleanup spot: .227. However, the highest frequency of his starts as a No. 4 batter -- 28 percent -- came last season when he struggled overall with the Kansas City Royals.