Pelfrey Continues To Regress; Concern For 2010

An article by posted on September 2, 2009

As the Mets fell to the Rockies 8-3 last night, you couldn’t help but wonder about the makeup of Mike Pelfrey who continues to make the case that he may never be a number two or three pitcher. As Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez pointed out last night, Pelfrey is woefully short on guts and smarts when he’s on the mound.

Pelfrey lasted just four innings, and allowed seven runs on six hits and five walks. The walks killed him as they were followed up by homeruns from Carlos Gonzalez and Todd Helton. It was a terrible showing by Pelf. He has yet to show the composure that is expected from a top of the rotation guy. One can only refer to his 2009 season as a giant step backward, and the promise he showed last season is but a distant memory.

Much like Oliver Perez, when Pelfrey gets rattled out there, he is not able to recover and you may as well chalk the game up as a loss. We’ve seen it so many times before. Some jokingly refer to it as the “yips”, but I don’t think this is a joking matter.

After the game, Manuel expressed some doubt when asked if he could envision Pelfrey as a lock for the rotation in 2010.

“In all honesty, it would have to be a concern if we don’t see some improvement.”

That’s a far cry from Omar Minaya’s off season declaration that Mike Pelfrey had locked down the number two spot in the rotation. So now what?

Pelfrey continues to walk batters at an alarming rate. He can’t seem to pitch out of the stretch which is a big problem when you’re a pitcher who pitches to contact like he does. He is not a smart pitcher. By that I mean he doesn’t seem to posses the intellect to evolve throughout the game. For example, during Todd Helton’s first at-bat, he busted him inside with fastballs. The second time around and with runners on base, he grooves Helton another inside fastball only this time Helton was waiting for it and yanked it out of the park for a three-run homer. You can’t keep throwing the same pitches to a major league hitter and not expect the hitter to make in-game adjustments, especially a great hitter like Helton. A top of the rotation pitcher would know that. After the game, Pelfrey acknowledged his terrible performance.

“That was embarrassing,” Pelfrey said. “I didn’t belong on the field tonight. I was terrible. I feel more bad for my teammates that had to play behind me. I was absolutely awful. “

In his last two starts, Pelfrey has given up 17 hits, 12 runs and 10 walks in just 9 2/3 innings. Start sounding the alarms.

There were some other things of note in last nights game…

David Wright returned from the DL and had some fine at-bats, notching a single, a walk, and a run scored in the game. He looked great and it looks like he’s going to be just fine. The Mets will play it safe and give him the game off today.

Angel Pagan had a couple of hits, but also had a huge baserunning blunder that wiped out a potential big inning for the Mets. Sadly, it’s not the first time Pagan has done this.

Getting back to Pelfrey…

The Mets have some big concerns heading into the off season. Their rotation now consists of Johan Santana, Jon Niese, John Maine and possibly Fernando Nieve. All of them will be returning from injuries that required surgery and wiped out their seasons. The only healthy member of the rotation is Mike Pelfrey and he doesn’t seem qualified to be anything more than a fifth starter.

The decision to pass on Roy Halladay (or Cliff Lee) may haunt this team for a long, long time.

Believe it or not, this started out as a game recap.

Obviously it evolved into something else…

You can thank Big Pelf for that.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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