More responsibility falls to Feliciano

More responsibility falls to Feliciano

NEW YORK -- The muscle strain that sidelined Mets reliever Sean Green this week had two direct effects: it sent Green to the disabled list, and it opened the door for Pedro Feliciano to become the team's exclusive setup man.

When the Mets placed Green on the disabled list Sunday morning with a right intercostal muscle strain, they also selected the contract of left-hander Raul Valdes from Triple-A Buffalo. That put three lefties in New York's bullpen, freeing Feliciano for eighth-inning duties.

"If you can have three lefties," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said, "it really can be beneficial in our division to have those guys."

Feliciano, a lefty specialist in each of his first seven big league seasons, publicly lobbied in Spring Training to set up games for closer Francisco Rodriguez. Now, with both Valdes and Hisanori Takahashi available to pitch to left-handed batters in the middle innings, the Mets can save their top lefty reliever for the eighth.

It's possible because of the injury to Green, who hasn't pitched since allowing a home run to Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla in his season debut on Wednesday. Green, who will travel to the team's Spring Training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to rehab the injury, will continue to receive treatment before progressing to baseball activities.

The move is retroactive to April 8.

Joining the bullpen in his place is Valdes, 32, who posted a 2.08 ERA in six spring games with the Mets. After defecting from his native Cuba in 2004 and making a brief stint in the Mets' Minor League system in 2007, Valdes has spent the past two years pitching in the Dominican League, Venezuelan League and Mexican League. He has never before advanced beyond Triple-A.

"I feel real good about it, just to have the opportunity to be here," Valdes said through interpreter Alex Cora. "It's great. But at the same time, I want to take advantage of the opportunity."

To make room on the 40-man roster for Valdes, the Mets designated right-hander Clint Everts for assignment.