Posted by Diehardmets
Time for the second installment in my analysis of the Mets 2011 rotation. Today’s topic: Mike Pelfrey.
Mike Pelfrey was the 9th overall pick in the 2005 amateur draft. He made his major league on July 8th, 2006, making a couple of decent starts before being sent back down to Triple-A. A strong spring training in 2007 earned him a spot in the starting rotation, but after pitching quite miserably, he was sent back down. He started occasionally for the rest of the season and permanently joined the Mets rotation in 2008.
Pelfrey is a mixed bag. He’s just about always healthy, ignoring the dead arm period he experienced that most pitchers go through at some point in the season. He’s shown flashes of brilliance, evidenced by his strong start to the 2010 season (0.69 ERA in April) and a great August (1.82). For the first month of the 2010 season, he was the staff ace and had one of the lowest ERAs in the league. However, he can be absolutely horrendous at times, shown by his 10.02 ERA in July. I can tell you he’s been frustratingly and consistently inconsistent throughout his career. He does not strike a lot of people out, as his 5.0 K/9 shows, and his control can be a bit shaky (3.0 BB/9). His home/road splits are also a little scary. His home ERA is a whole 2.12 points lower at home then on the road.
Pelfrey finished 2010 with a 107 ERA+. That’s not his best full season mark, which is the 113 he achieved in 2008. But in 2008, he never had the stretches of pure dominance he showed last year. You can also probably blame his miserable July on his dead arm. Even with a month of an ERA of 10.00 his ERA for the year was a solid 3.66. His career best ERA is likely sustainable, as his BABIP, WHIP, and K/BB were all in line with his career norms.
Salary is also going to start becoming an issue for Pelfrey. 2011 is his first arbitration eligible season. With the beloved Scott Boras (feel the sarcasm) as his agent, Pelfrey will start getting expensive, and a long term extension is unlikely. As long as he remains healthy, he should be able to sustain his 2010 production, and perhaps even improve on it. He is 27, which seems to be a magic number for true breakout seasons in the MLB. The Mets will need him to step up to the plate (actually the pitching rubber) and perform like a front line starter if they are to have any hope of at least a respectable record next season.
Up next: the knuckle-balling phenom and fan favorite RA Dickey.