LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Terry Collins said the issue in deciding not to place Pedro Feliciano on the Opening Day roster was not the fact he was throwing 82-83 mph. Instead, the manager suggested, the issue in determining Feliciano would not make the team out of spring training was that Feliciano's shoulder was not yet strong enough to work consecutive days.
The Mets have asked Feliciano to go to Triple-A Las Vegas for a month. Feliciano said he needed to consult with his agent before determining whether he will accept.
"We've reached the stage where we just thought we'd like to see him build up some shoulder strength," Collins said. "We're not saying velocity -- just back-to-back stuff. One of the things we saw was the second day we brought him back, his stuff wasn't as crisp as the first. He's the kind of guy that we're going to need to do that. If he's going to make a difference, which he has in his career, you've got to know you can bring him in back-to-back days and he's still going to be sharp.
"The velocity, due to the surgeries he's had, the shoulder issues he's had, we weren't sure he was ever going to throw as hard as he used to. In his case, it was just a matter of it's very, very important to know we've got guys in our bullpen that can go two, maybe three days in a row. I just said, 'Hey, look, we want you here. I think you'll be here fast. You just need to do some more back-to-backs to build up your shoulder strength.'
"You look at our rotation and outside of maybe a couple of guys in there, we don't have a lot of strikeout pitchers. It's going to be a situation where we've got to use our bullpen. And we've got to make sure we've got the guys down there that we can use several days a week, and sometimes multiple innings. We think Pedro will help us. I just hope he hangs on and spends a little time getting his shoulder in better condition."