Updated Post 11/27
Mike Pelfrey told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that he expects to be ready to pitch by Opening Day.
“If the season started January 15, I would be able to go out and throw 100 pitches,” Pelfrey told Rubin.
Pelfrey underwent Tommy John Surgery on May 1st to repair ligaments in his right elbow. The recovery is typically one year long, but there have been cases where pitchers came back sooner than expected like Jenrry Mejia for example.
This is definitely good news for Pelfrey, who will most likely be non-tendered by the team on Friday making the righthander a free agent.
Original Post 11/25
After writing about Jon Niese as an untouchable Met yesterday, I thought I’d take a different approach and consider a Met believed to be out the door.
Say hello to Mike Pelfrey. Long thought to be gone, but upon further review a case can be made for his return.
The 28-year-old Pelfrey made $5.68 million in an injury shortened 2012 and is expected to hit the market with a career 50-54 record. He is arbitration eligible with Scott Boras as his agent, all which should make the Mets deathly afraid.
Quite bluntly: Even at 20 percent off his 2012 salary, the Mets think that is too high, which is why they won’t tender him and say good-bye after a disappointedly short-lived career in Flushing. He had a couple of solid seasons, even All-Star worthy in 2010, but regressed in 2011 and was hurt last year.
He never reached the level expected of a first-round pick while others, such as Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain sprinted past him into elite status. Unquestionably, Pelfrey has the physical tools to excel, but dramatically underachieved. A combination of a lack of poise – who can forget the three-balk game? – poor pitch selection, mechanics, and although he’ll deny it – spotty confidence – led to mediocrity.
Considering the pay raise he would get in today’s screwed up arbitration system, the Mets can understandably not want to pay $6 million for mediocrity.
However, the Mets are loaded with pitching questions that make Pelfrey intriguing to re-consider assuming he’s healthy.
First of all, Johan Santana’s health is a concern, but even if he’s sound, this will be his final season as a Met, so there will be void and they don’t know if Zack Wheeler will be ready. Or Jenrry Mejia. They don’t even know if Mejia will start or relieve.
R.A. Dickey’s status is uncertain and his possible departure would create another hole. And, what if Niese or Matt Harvey don’t progress as expected? I’d rather have a still-young Pelfrey than Chris Young or a 37-year-old retread.
Pelfrey’s age, his familiarity with the organization and New York, his past glimpses of production and a reasonable salary compared with others in the market make him viable.
Pelfrey could probably be re-signed to a minor league deal that shouldn’t put the Mets on the hook for more than a million dollars, and he could prove to be a very useful addition. Mark my words: If the Mets don’t bring him back somebody will sign him.