Indicators vary, and Jerry Manuel is calling it roughly three weeks to define the good start he said the Mets need out of the gate. Losing two of three to the Marlins is too small of a window.
“Let’s see where we are over the first 20 games,” Manuel said. “That will give us a better indicator if we are off and running or whatever.”
The Mets are counting on Mike Pelfrey to pick up the Mets tonight against the Washington Nationals. That is, of course, if Pelfrey can pick up himself after working with a sports psychologist.
Pelfrey spoke recently about the mental make-up required to pitch in the major leagues, saying most everybody are equal in terms of physical talent, but the difference is the head game.
“At this level, I think every pitcher is pretty gifted,’’ Pelfrey said. “What separates guys is the mental part of the game.’’
Pelfrey’s problem has been losing focus and not mastering his secondary pitches. Pelfrey has tendency to not finish off hitters and consequently doesn’t minimize the damage and lets innings get away from him.
Of all the Mets, for me it is a toss up between Mike Pelfrey and John Maine as to whom I am most concerned about heading into the season. Oliver Perez? Not so much, as I know he’ll be inconsistent and spotty. I’m done scratching my head over Perez.
But Pelfrey and Maine – the former starts today – promise to have an upside and there have been flashes. Pelfrey’s problems have been, 1) a failure to master his secondary pitches, 2) an inability to limit the damage in an inning, and 3) a tendency to lose focus.
It all adds up to not knowing what to expect when he takes the mound.
But, at least he knows it when he speaks of the primary issue surrounding this team.
“I’ve come in from day one saying that the whole season is going to depend on us three,” Pelfrey said of himself, Maine and Perez. “And it’s true. No matter what team it is, pitching wins championships.
“Johan Santana is going to be Johan Santana. The guys vying for the fifth spot are going to be great fifth starters. The rest is on us three.”
It is only spring training, but their performance so far has done little to alleviate concern. The questions and inconsistency remains.
Here’s what Oliver Perez had to say about coming back to the Mets and the free-agent market: “This is the team that gave me the second opportunity to come back to the majors and I was really happy, but I have to look at everything and see what team gives me the best opportunity to win.”
To look at surface value, if Perez had come through the Mets would be playing this week, perhaps even hosting a game. But, he didn’t. He had 17 no-decisions in 34 starts. Talk about not completing your work.
I don’t think Perez was throwing his teammates under the bus. Perez is not a great speaker and gets overwhelmed at times talking to the media. He has a tendency to speak in cliche, and that’s what he did there. Scott Boras had him primed on what to say during the season and that was a stock quote.
However, the question should be asked whether Perez gives the Mets their best chance to win. If the dollar figures are true of five years at $75 million to start, is Perez the answer? He won 15 games last year and only 10 this season. That’s a huge drop and injuries aren’t to blame.
Do you really want this guy back or should the Mets spend the money elsewhere?