Pelfrey: Big Pelf or Big Poof

Of all the Mets last season, Mike Pelfrey was the biggest disappointment. To me, that also makes him the biggest issue for next season of those Mets on the current roster.

PELFREY: There were a lot of conferences this summer.

PELFREY: There were a lot of conferences this summer.


After a what many thought was a big step in 2008, Pelfrey took a step back last summer. He unraveled like a ball of yarn, unable to work his way out of trouble and finish off hitters and innings, never mind games. His moments of dominance were scarce. And, the old problem of not having command of his secondary pitches and being reliant on his fastball was a constant theme.

Maybe it was the wall many pitchers get the season after throwing a career high in innings. Then again, maybe it wasn’t and he’s a right-handed Oliver Perez. I have no faith in Perez; Pelfrey I haven’t given up on, yet.

However, with another season like 2009, the concept “bust” comes to mind. For a power pitcher, Pelfrey struck out only 107 hitters in 184.1 innings. Ideally, you’d like around a strikeout per inning if you’re a true power pitcher.

His ERA was 5.03, nearly a half run a game higher than in 2008. Hitters batted a hefty .289 against him and he averaged giving up a homer every ten innings. None of those numbers add up to being a dependable pitcher, much less an ace.

I don’t know who the Mets will acquire this winter. So, I have to assume the Mets will return with the same rotation that imploded last summer. John Maine and Perez are coming off surgery, so the expectations of them are low. The Mets need to first worry about their health instead of their performance.

Pelfrey is different. The assumption with him is he’s healthy. That being the case, with pitching their biggest void then Pelfrey is their biggest concern.

8 thoughts on “Pelfrey: Big Pelf or Big Poof

  1. This will definitely be a big season for Pelf and he’ll need to prove he can pitch with the big boys. I’m not sure he’ll ever have the stuff to be a #2, but there is still a chance. I just wonder how much the pitching coach from last year ruined him. You just wonder where this pitcher who had this report went?

    “The Future: According to USA today, they already call Mike Pelfrey a right handed Randy Johnson. Pelfrey has so much potential and upside and is a serious contender for a spot in The Mets 2007 starting rotation. He is predicted as a #1-2 starter in the future.”

  2. As John says. Ya gotta have more than the sinking fastball.

    He seemed to be up in the zone a lot rather than down. His sinker needs to be down and he needs in the words of Bobby O 3 pitches just like any effective major league pitcher.

  3. Once again, the Mets rushing of a prospect bites them in the ass.
    He did not have enough time in the minors to develop the slider, which Rick P made him utilize instead of his curve, which was supposedly good coming out of college.
    Also, in college, he was a thrower, not a pitcher. So he needed to learn.
    But, he was a first round pick, so he was rushed.

    I do think he can bounce back. He did suffer some Verducci effects last year, like Cole Hamels did. They used him way too much at the end of 2008, boosting his innings way higher.
    Laugh at the other NY team for the Joba Rules, but there adverse impacts in many instances of jumping the innings count to high too fast.

  4. I think for Pelf’s learning curve he should go to AAA. There he can pitch every turn and work on his slider or curve or changeup or whatever pitches the team thinks he needs to master. He can also work on keeping the fastball down and locating it side to side.

    Of course we cannot do that because there is no rotation without him.

  5. Steve (1): That might be something written about Lincecum or Cain. It is amazing how with similar tools some make it and others don’t. Or, at least not yet.-JD

  6. Pelf still has quite a bit of talent and if he is pushed back in the rotation a little bit I think we will see a lot more of it. What we need is an arm or two that pushes him back in the rotation, but if that doesn’t happen I am not sure we can depend on him for much next year.

  7. 7. The spot in the rotation is irrelevant. If you are in a funk and the pitching coach can’t help you, you are in trouble no matter your supposed spot. Especially when you don’t have a ton of success to look back on for self help.