If you’re talking about his stature and his 6’7″ frame, than by all accounts Mike Pelfrey has earned the nickname of “Big Pelf”. However, if the word “big” is supposed to be indicative of his performance level when he takes the mound, well I’m not buying it. Not yet anyway.
The Mets must have bought into the hype when they decided Pelfrey was big enough to be a number two starter on a team that is supposed to be a World Series caliber team. Little did they know that if they looked a little beyond the wins and losses, and the ERA, they would have seen clear signs that at best, Pelfrey is a bottom of the rotation guy who could step up some day, but clearly isn’t there yet.
If you look at his 3.70 ERA and his 13-10 record, you nod in approval and say not bad. The Mets played it off as Pelfrey blew batters away. He didn’t. In 194 innings pitched he struck out just 107 batters but walked 64 of them, not even a 2:1 ratio. His walks may not seem that high until you see ha gave up more hits than innings pitched at 207. You’re not going to have too many 1-2-3 innings with these type of numbers.
His K9 ratio has been in decline since he first came up and has never been above league average. The last thing you want to see in a pitcher so young is a declining K9 ratio.
CHONE projections have him slated for 9 wins and a 4.32 ERA. The wins sound about right, but they gave Pelfrey the benefit of the doubt on the ERA.
Pelf is never going to blow anyone away like a Roger Clemens did, or make you hitters swing wildly on a great changeup like Johan Santana. In a best case scenario and he is not even remotely there yet, Pelfrey may end up having a career close to Derek Lowe. He still has a lot of work and a lot to prove before he even gets to that level yet.
The point of this is not to knock on Big Pelf, I simply want to show why I don’t believe Pelfrey is a number two starter for championship caliber club. The Pirates or Royals? Definitely, but the Mets never should have had Pelfrey slotted for the number four spot this season, and they should have went out and signed a number two pitcher as they currently don’t have one on their roster.
Can they still win? Of course they can, this is baseball and anything can and always does happen.
Is it too late to get a number two starter? Absolutely not, the Mets have two blue chippers in Wilmer Flores and Fernando Martinez, Flores is on the rise, F-Mart has lost his shine. Either one can be packaged for a Jake Peavy before the trade deadline or even Roy Halladay if the Blue Jays fall out of contention.