Would Putting Pelfrey in the ‘Pen be Such A Bad Thing?

An article by posted on December 28, 2007

While rumors are swirling about the Mets actually being in the Johan Santana race, I don’t want to give up the New Orleans Zephyrs to ultimately spend $200 million on Santana. Sorry ’bout that. I want Carlos Gomez; we’d be unstoppable when it comes to stealing bases. I want Philip Humber; we haven’t really seen much of him but I could see him as either a future starter or a long reliever. I want Mike Pelfrey; I really feel he could be another success story from our ‘pen.

In fact, there’s another former top draft pick who found success within our bullpen: Aaron Heilman. In 2001, Heilman was the 18th pick overall out of Notre Dame. He made his MLB debut in 2003. Okay, so he pitched a one hitter against the Marlins but he posted a 5.63 ERA as a starter. In the middle of the 2005 season, Willie Randolph did something that would change our outlook on Heilman forever: he moved him into the ‘pen. After that, Heilman posted a 0.68 ERA for the rest of the 2005 season and ended that year with a 2.14 ERA. Okay, so he gave up The Home Run in Game 7, but he’s still the best reliever we have.

At one point in the season last year, Mike Pelfrey was 0-7. I was excited when he got the 5th rotation spot but after a while I cringed when he took the mound. Pelfrey would definitely not be the first pitcher to shift to the ‘pen. Even before Heilman, we had Jason Isringhausen. Lets just say he did a better job as a closer for the Cardinals than as a starter for the Mets. Putting Pelfrey in middle relief or short relief may not be such a bad thing. Okay, so we have Duanar Sanchez coming back from the prison I like to call the Florida Highway System, but putting Pelfrey in there also would hopefully provide stability to an otherwise shaky bullpen. We have Matt Wise, but lets face it, his numbers weren’t exactly great with the Brewers. And when Billy Wagner blows saves, there back to back to back to back to back. I can ttrust Heilman and Feliciano. I love Joe Smith, but he may need more time in the minors.

Putting Pelfrey in the ‘pen would at least give him a chance to prove himself in the majors. We’re not going to get much for him aftr he went 3-7 last year. Okay, so you package him with Humber, Gomez, and Mulvey but as a GM, I would be like, "That’s it?" We have NOTHING to trade. Put Pelfrey (and why not Humber as well?) in the ‘pen. It worked for Heilman and Isringhausen. As for a starter, I really thought we should have dealt Milledge for one of those guys in Oakland but now our best bet may be Livan Hernandez.

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