Posted by JD on May 31, 2010
Jesus Feliciano is absolutely tearing it up in Buffalo. Named the International League Player of the Week for May 17-23, Feliciano is has a hit in 13 of his last 19 at-bats and has raised his batting average to .403 (as of May 30th). I know I’m going way out on a limb here, but I think the Mets should give this guy a chance as soon as possible.
Calling up Feliciano isn’t going to vault the Mets into first place: he’s a 31 year-old career minor leaguer who is experience the best three weeks of his career as I write this. But it’s not all smoke and mirrors. Yes, his BABIP this season is .396, which is probably unsustainable. He’s due to cool off as his career BABIP entering the season was .310. But based on his numbers with the Zephyrs/Bisons, for whom he’s compiled a .311 average (and .345 BABIP), I think it’s fair to expect him to be a productive player at the major league level.
He won’t hit .400. Heck, he probably won’t hit .300, but considering that he plays all three outfield spots (and even pitched: he has a career 4.35 ERA in eight appearances), he would be an immediate upgrade over GMJ.
I don’t know what the Mets are doing with GMJ. If it weren’t for Oliver Perez, Matthews would be the least productive player on the roster. The difference between the two is a little more $19 million dollars. The Mets still owe Ollie approximately $21 million (about $9 million this year, $12 million next year) and GMJ $1.5 million (about $600,000 remaining this year and $900,00 next year). He’s appeared in 34 games this season, but only has four at-bats in the past eleven games. I’m not advocating that he get more, but why carry him on the roster if you’re not going to use him?
Sadly, this is a good litmus test for the Oliver Perez situation. The Mets have a farmhand hitting .403 who also represents a defensive improvement, yet management refuses to part ways with GMJ, likely due to the roughly $1.5 they owe him. I think it’s safe to say that if they can’t bring themselves to cut GMJ, they’re going to do everything possible to avoid cutting Oliver Perez. Meaning we’ll be stuck with two roster albatrosses for the forseable future.
I see one scenario that could see Feliciano called up: if he can get a few hits through Wednesday, say 6 for 15 or so, uber-wunderkind Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to start against the Bisons on Thursday. If Feliciano enters the game within a few percentage points of .400 and can get a hit or two off of Strasburg, I can’t imagine management leaving him in Buffalo any longer. Of course, it will probably be Chris Carter that gets sent down…