Could Mike Pelfrey Be A Reliever?
General manager Sandy Alderson earmarked getting a closer and improving the bullpen as his top priorities. Given that, why not consider erratic starter Mike Pelfrey in the closer role?
A switch in roles proved to be career boosts for Dave Righetti and Dennis Eckersley, and it could be worth exploring for Pelfrey, who has not developed into the consistent starter the Mets hoped.
The main thing that has derailed Pelfrey as a starter – losing focus – could be sharpened coming out of the pen because of the shortness of the appearance. Having the game on the line and only one inning to work with could be the vehicle that hones his concentration.
Pelfrey can cruise for four innings, then unravel in the fifth. As a closer, theoretically he would face only three hitters with the game in the balance. It is worth finding out if such pressure could jumpstart him.
Will it work? I don’t know, but it is something to consider because his starting career has been spotty with little signs of him developing into a consistent winner. Seriously, after watching Pelfrey so far in his career, who is convinced he’ll be a late bloomer? At 50-54 lifetime, it is time to ask what’s not working for the guy.
Reportedly, the Mets already talked to teams about him, an indication of their frustration and unhappiness. If you’re contemplating that, why not give this a shot first?
Yes, it would create a void in the rotation, but don’t you think they could easily pick up another starter with Pelfrey’s numbers, if not better? What do they have to lose?
About the Author: John Delcos
I am an active member of the BBWAA and have covered Major League Baseball in several capacities for over 20 years, including ten in New York working the Mets' and Yankees' beat. I covered the Baltimore Orioles for eight years and the Cleveland Indians before that.
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