Pedro Feliciano had his contract purchased by the Mets on Friday and is back in the majors for the first time since 2010.
After making a whopping 92 appearances with the Mets in 2010, Feliciano signed a two-year, $8 million deal with the Yankees over that winter. He went down the next spring with what was originally called triceps soreness and then missed two years after shoulder surgery. He returned to the Mets on a minor league deal this spring, only to be set back by a heart condition. As if that wasn’t enough, after debuting in the minors in April, he was stricken by a case of severe food poisoning that cost him over a month.
Feliciano, who turns 37 later this month, ended up posting a 1.29 ERA and a 19/4 K/BB ratio in 21 innings in the minors. His velocity isn’t what it used to be, but he might still be capable of finessing his way through some left-handed hitters. Regardless, it’s a nice story that he’s getting another shot. He was a horse for the Mets in the second half of the last decade. From 2007 through 2010, he averaged 86 appearances per year.
To put that in perspective, since 2007, only two other pitchers have made 86 appearances in a season: Jon Rauch (88 in 2007) and Peter Moylan (86 in 2009). Last year, the major league leaders had 80 appearances.
Tempers flared between the Astros and Rangers on Monday in Arlington. In the bottom of the second inning, Astros starter Collin McHugh threw a first-pitch fastball inside to Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez. Gomez didn’t like it, so he stared at McHugh for a few seconds. Gomez fouled off the next pitch and jawed at McHugh before taking a few steps towards the mound. McHugh came in and the benches emptied. Fortunately, order was quickly restored and both teams were issued warnings.
The Astros and Rangers had a benches-clearing incident earlier this season as well. In a game in Houston on May 1, Astros starter Lance McCullers threw inside to Mike Napoli, which caused the benches to spill out onto the field. McHugh also hit Gomez with a first pitch fastball in the second inning on August 31 and Mike Fiers did the same in the second inning on August 12. As a result, Gomez thinks the Astros have it out for him. Via Levi Weaver of WFAA Sports:
Gomez referenced manhood a couple different times, saying, “I’m a man and I’m responsible.” Referring to McHugh, Gomez said, “he’s not man enough to tell me [that he’s going to hit me] face-to-face.” He continued, “So if you’re a real man, you tell me to my face, not send me a message.”
Per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart and Sam Butler, McHugh said after the game:
The second pitch, he took a big swing and fouled it off and took about five steps out toward the mound, looking me straight in the eye. I just asked him if we had a problem. It was a rhetorical question because, clearly, he’s got a problem with me. I don’t exactly know what it is, but whatever the case, he came out and I asked him what the issue was and he said, ‘Yeah, I got a problem with you.’ That was it. Everybody else was out there by that point in time. The game goes on. I don’t want to spend any more mental effort thinking about Carlos Gomez.
The series resumes on Tuesday night as Dallas Keuchel will oppose Cole Hamels. It will be interesting to see if the drama bleeds over into this one.
In the bottom of the second inning of Monday night’s game at Busch Stadium, Cubs shortstop Addison Russell dove into the stands down the left field line in an attempt to catch a foul ball. A Cardinals fan holding a tray of nachos was in Russell’s path and had his tasty treat knocked onto the dirt in front of the stands. Russell did the fan a solid, though, bringing him a new tray of nachos and posed for a selfie. The fan was also later seen taking selfies with other fans.
That peeved Cubs starter Jon Lester, who started Monday’s game. Via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times:
“Great effort,” pitcher Jon Lester said. “But I don’t understand the other stuff.
“A guy fell into him and got nacho cheese on his arm and now he’s taking pictures and signing autographs. It shows you where our society’s at right now with all that stuff.”
It wasn’t like Lester had a poor outing and that’s why he was salty. The lefty yielded just one run on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts over six innings. Lester just, uh, hates selfies, I guess? I’m also not sure how the whole scenario is a reflection of American society, unless he means that people can turn a disappointing situation into a fun and heartwarming situation.
At least Russell and Cubs manager Joe Maddon had a good sense of humor about it. Maddon said the whole thing was “pretty entertaining.” Russell said, “You don’t get between a man and his nachos.”