I Like Mike… Big Pelf That Is

Last year marked Big Pelf’s first genuine MLB season. He pitched 200 innings, and I think he proved that he has the ability to be a top-quality hurler. I am not brimming with confidence about the 2009 Mets this spring unlike my attitude for the past two springs, which I’m guessing I share with the other millions of fans out there, but I am excited and expectant over Mike P.

At the risk of preaching to the converted, keep in mind that with the exception of the months of May and September, Pelfrey was an elite NL pitcher in 2008. Did you know he was 11-2 from June through August? His ERA in that period was also considerably lower than the approximate 3.50 he ended up with. You also know he won 13 games. I know he is now capable of winning 15-17 this season, especially when we factor in the stronger late innings BP upgrade. Knock on wood that he stays healthy.

One huge concern is season’s-end fatigue, so with hindsight, I’m hoping the staff will figure out how best to enable Pelfrey to give it his all once we head into September. The other major red flag to me about Pelf is the trouble he had with NL East teams, especially the Marlins, Braves and Phils. Basically, the Marlins and Braves owned him. So if he can improve against our main rivals, I think he has the wherewithal for a huge season. I am considering Pelf to be the biggest sleeper star on the team this year.

MLB starting pitchers don’t develop exactly as position players. Some of the truly great ones, including Koufax and Glavine, flounder about for a few years before finally achieving that awesome combination of control and an excellent repertoire of three-four pitches. By any stretch, Big Pelf did well with control for most of last year. This should be a year of refinements and improvements for him.