Mike Pelfrey has been the subject of much debate this off season. After a season which can only be labeled as disappointing, questions now linger about his physical and mental makeup.
The Mets former first round pick, has had a lot of expectations place on him since being selected ninth overall in the 2005 Amateur Draft. Now entering his fifth season in the Majors, Pelfrey is now at the make or break point of his career. After a big regression in 2009, he will have to turn things around rather quickly to prove he was worth his lofty draft status.
So far in his career, Pelfrey has a 1.49 WHIP and has allowed a .721 OPS against right-handed hitters and a .813 OPS against lefthanders.
Since 2006, he has made 80 starts and he has never allowed less hits than innings pitched in any of his four seasons in the Majors.
Last season he nearly doubled his career homerun allowed rate despite making half of his starts at Citi Field. Of the 18 homeruns he allowed, 8 of them came down the stretch in September.
That said, he was absolutely dreadful on the road, compiling a 6.72 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP, while allowing 102 hits, 37 walks and 12 homeruns in 80.1 innings pitched. All batters combined had a whopping .864 OPS against Pelfrey on the road.
Pelfrey’s problem is his apparent lack of command which is well known now throughout the league. Most hitters simply allow Pelfrey to fall behind in the count which he does quite frequently, and then wait for him to throw his fastball. Hitters have a 1.055 OPS against Pelfrey when they are ahead in the count.
Pelfrey is easily rattled, especially with runners on base or runners in scoring position. Opposing batters hit .321 BA/.411 OBP/.523 SLG with men on, and .321 BA/.423 OBP/.511 SLG with RISP.
As it stands now, unless the Mets acquire another starting pitcher, Mike Pelfrey will once again be expected to be the Mets number two starter in 2010, as he was tabbed last season by GM Omar Minaya.
Pelfrey turns 26 years old tomorrow. He has been passed up and overshadowed by many other players in his draft class. Although he’s still young, he’ll need to kick it up a notch in 2010 before he goes from being a “future top of the rotation starter” to your “garden variety innings eater”.
Pelfrey will be a guest on WFAN’s “Boomer and Carton Show” this Thursday, some time between 8:30 – 9:00 AM.