“I want to play this game for as long as I can and I can’t do that with having the kind of year I had last year,” Pelfrey said. “Going into the offseason, it kind of hits you like, ‘Man, what happened?’ So you go through it, you learn from it and you try to get better. I’m more determined not to let that happen again. Obviously, I need to have a good year or . . . I might not be back.”
Mike Pelfrey came out and admitted it right away. Usually, when he pitches poorly – which was often last season – he’ll acknowledge his flaws.
Speaking to reporters in Port St. Lucie, Pelfrey threw high heat at himself.
Bingo on that part.
Pelfrey has not progressed has hoped for several reasons, including, 1) he loses concentration and poise when things start to unravel, 2) his command can be erratic, 3) his pitch selection is bad (he doesn’t always have to agree with the catcher), 4) he doesn’t command his secondary pitches consistently.
How much of Pelfrey’s problems stem from an inexperienced catcher in Josh Thole or pitching coach Dan Warthen. He’s had good and bad seasons with Warthen, so this year could be key.
Pelfrey has been exposed to good, veteran pitchers in Johan Santana, Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez. One would have hoped he picked something up out of osmosis.
However, in the end, Pelfrey is the one who makes the decision on what pitch to throw and the effectiveness in how he throws it. Those are in his control and he hasn’t done well in those areas.
Some pitchers with lesser stuff work out of trouble because of grit and guile, and you don’t always see that from Pelfrey. I hate to say it, but his inconsistency reminds me at times of Oliver Perez, and I know that’s a scary thought for all of us.
Pelfrey admits this season could determine his major league future, and that’s good if his work ethic lives up to the seriousness of his words.