The Mets Can’t Afford To Bounce Pelfrey From The Rotation

An article by posted on June 1, 2008

Some time next week the Mets should be activating Moises Alou from the disabled list. It most likely means the end of the road for Nick Evans who would assuredly be the player who Alou will replace on the roster. We’ll see Evans again in the future, but clearly he needs more seasoning and more everyday playing time in the minors for now.

Maybe the next time Alou gets injured, we can catch a glimpse of Dan Murphy or Mike Carp. It’s important to see if the Mets can replace Delgado next season with an in-house candidate before throwing millions at soon to be free agent, Mark Teixeira.

As for the more immediate future, the Mets have a choice to make upon activating Pedro Martinez from the disabled list on Tuesday. It’s a choice that will mean the end of a rotation spot for either Mike Pelfrey or Claudio Vargas. Both have pitched inconsistently at best, though each have their good points and bad points.

I believe the Mets should continue to stick with Pelfrey in the rotation rather than dispatching him to the minors or worse yet the bullpen. I think sending him to the bullpen would do little in terms of helping him to continue his development — something that the Mets should not take lightly.

The team had already made a mental decision that they were going to develop Pelfrey at the Major League level a long time ago. They have not strayed from that course as of yet. They knew Pelfrey was raw and that some of his pitches needed to be refined. They knew he needed to change speeds better. However, they were impressed enough with the movement and speed of his fast ball that they were willing to ignore his shortcomings for a short term gain.

At this stage of the game, they may as well stay on the same course and continue to give Pelfrey what he needs most of all to become a better pitcher — more starts. I say leave him in the rotation for now. Send Vargas to the bullpen where he may be able to reprise the role of the long man, something that hasn’t been adequately done since Darren Oliver last held the role.
 

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