Nov 23

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.
Continue reading

Nov 11

Perez has the right idea ….

Newsday’s Ken Davidoff is one of the sharpest baseball writers around, and he has this story today that Oliver Perez is working hard in Arizona at the Athletes Performance Institute, which is a comprehensive fitness camp.

Call it marine training for athletes, with a focus on nutrition, metabolic testing, cardiovascular work, drills and media training.

PEREZ: Getting his head on straight.

PEREZ: Getting his head on straight.


Perez hasn’t always been in the best physical or mental shape, and the thinking here is if he can master the latter he’ll do the same with the former, and consequently results could be seen on the mound. It’s worth a try, and it is a sign Perez is taking last season’s wash out seriously.

Among the Institute’s alumni are Curt Schilling, Justin Morneau, Carl Crawford, Kevin Youklis and Dustin Pedroia.

Said Red Sox manager Terry Francona during spring training in 2008: “These guys have access to so much. They take advantage of it and when they come in [to camp], it makes the baseball part easier.”

Perez, 3–4 with a 6.82 ERA in 14 starts last season, has always been an uncashed check when it comes to his performance. The potential has always been greater than the production, and the Mets gambled $36 million over three years that might change.

So far it hasn’t, but the first step in correcting the problem is in its acknowledgement.

Nov 10

Minaya faces rough road ahead ….

Mets general manager Omar Minaya faces a daunting task in rebuilding the Mets, and let’s face it, tweaking will not get it done.

MINAYA: Looks perplexed.

MINAYA: Looks perplexed.


“Some years are better than others. I think we have to find a way to slug more,” said Minaya in defining the market and one of his team’s needs.

Signing a guy like Matt Holliday or John Lackey won’t get it done. Signing both won’t get it done, either.

For the Mets to become the team they have promised they will be, there’s tweaking in some areas, hoping in a few more, and throwing money at several others in what has been described as a less-than-stellar free-agent market.
Continue reading

Oct 30

Thoughts on Pedro the teacher ….

Watching Pedro Martinez last night got me to thinking about his tenure with the Mets. He was brought in for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is his supposed influence on the younger pitchers. Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez and John Maine all have physical skills to be good, but something is lacking.

1 + 1 = 3 to some Mets pitchers.

1 + 1 = 3 to some Mets pitchers.


I know Martinez worked hard with Perez, as has Johan Santana the past two seasons, but nothing has sunk in. At least it sure doesn’t look like it. If you can’t learn from those two, who can you learn from? In this case, I’m more inclined to think the student has a learning disability than I am a problem with the teachers.

I’m not sure Perez is ever going to get it. I’d like to unload his contract, but who would be crazy enough to pay him that much money? Ooops, never mind.

Pelfrey’s erratic nature has me leaning in that direction, too. In comparison to some of the other young pitchers in the game, Pelfrey is way behind in his mound make-up. All too often this season Pelfrey unraveled after several good innings. He doesn’t have the ability to command his secondary pitches and adjust under pressure.

Of the three, Maine appears to me to have taken a step back from his 15-win season, but that’s more attributable to injuries than anything else.

Oct 29

Where should the Mets throw money?

As many of you would like to see the Mets throw money at all their issues – starting pitching, left field, first base and catcher – veteran watchers of the team know they aren’t the Yankees and can’t address them all.

Some reports have the Mets focusing on left field – read Matt Holliday – but I still see the team needing to focus on its starting pitching. There’s no lamenting watching Pedro Martinez pitch Game 2 of the World Series tonight as his tenure in New York ran its course.

Mets on their butts again next year without pitching.

Mets on their butts again next year without pitching.


However, there are no definitive reports on John Maine, Oliver Perez and Mike Pelfrey. Maine finished the season strong, which is encouraging, but there’s no guarantees; Perez is coming off surgery, but they haven’t been able to give him a heart or head, not to mention control; and Pelfrey is an enigma. Plus, there are a handful of candidates as the fifth starter.

Go ahead, sign Holliday. Go ahead, add a catcher. But, if the Mets don’t fix their pitching they’ll be watching the Phillies again next October.

I’m still saying the greatest need is on the mound.