Mike Pelfrey will undergo Tommy John surgery today in Alabama, a procedure that could mean the end of his nondescript career with the Mets.
The recovery period will take up to a year, which would eclipse the December date a team has to tender contracts. With Pelfrey to make $5.6 million this season for a handful of starts, the Mets will probably not tender a contract and allow him to become a free agent.
Yes, the Mets received positive news in the Ponzi scandal, but that doesn’t mean they will suddenly become frivolous. The Mets certainly won’t extend him at this time or go through the arbitration process.
If Pelfrey is to continue his career with the Mets, they’ll cut him loose, then attempt to re-sign him and start over at a lower figure.
Preventing the Mets from rolling the dice and keeping him is that Pelfrey never became the pitcher they envisioned. Pelfrey appeared to have a breakthrough season in 2010, but dramatically regressed last year. He’s lost more than he’s won, and his career has been marked by lapses in concentration (three balks in one game at San Francisco), a lack of developing his secondary pitches, and an inability to put away hitters and close out innings.
Yes, he’s lost close games and had bad luck, but aces are able to improvise and pitch through adversity. They find a way to win, something Pelfrey has been unable to do.
Maybe he’ll catch on somewhere else and develop into a solid starter. Maybe he’ll meet the expectations. But, he’s not shown much to compel the Mets to give him another opportunity to do it here.