Everyone knows how terribly Mike Pelfrey has performed at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies have teed off on him and have produced at a 1.10 OPS clip against him. Pelfrey has a 9.55 ERA at CBP and a 2.15 WHIP. As Bob Klapisch of The Record wrote, “this is where Pelfrey’s sinkers have historically met their doom”.
Pelfrey had been battling the flu only a day before his scheduled start and manager Terry Collins was planning to go with Dillon Gee, but he was talked out of it by Pelf.
“I don’t want people to think I’m afraid to pitch here,” Pelfrey said, according to the manager.
“It’s not just about you,” Collins responded. “If you get your butt beat, it affects 24 other guys, too. Think about that.”
Pelfrey said he understood, but insisted he was ready to contain the first-place Phillies. Collins relented, against his better judgment.
Then last night happened. Terry Collins gambled on Pelfrey and rolled snake eyes. Now Collins must figure out how to beat three Cy Young award winners in the next four games; Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum.
The trade talk for Pelfrey has already been rampant for some time. Many believed that the Mets should have sold high this Winter, but with Johan Santana already on the shelf and two other spots to fill in the rotation, Sandy Alderson hung onto him. Now with his value at a career low, trading him is probably not a consideration. But what about having him recharge hit batteries at Triple-A Buffalo?
Ironically, Pelfrey’s numbers (7.39 ERA, 1.96 WHIP) are worser than Oliver Perez’ 2009 numbers (6.82 ERA, 1.92 WHIP) when Ollie was asked to go to the minors and refused. They are worse than Ollie’s numbers in 2010 too.
Oliver Perez was yanked from the starting rotation after five starts - almost two years to the day, May 2, 2009. He was banished to the bullpen after refusing to go to the minors.
Mike Pelfrey is now at the same crossroads as Perez after six starts.
Like Ollie at the time, he is 27 years old – too old to be considered promising, and too young to give up entirely. It’s also the age when you start to realize a player is what he is.