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5.07.2007

Splashdown

Pardon me for not being able to muster up the courage to post: I was distraught by the two final nails in the Rangers's coffin, and a start by Mike Pelfrey which made me long for Mike Bacsik.

The tom-toms will inevitably begin to beat regarding Pelfrey's status in the rotation, as Jorge Sosa's fleeting flash of brilliance Saturday night cemented a rotation that has seen quite a bit of good pitching from its front four, save for a few embarrassing outings at the hands of Duque and Perez.

Pelfrey, on the other hand, has been pretty bad. I wish there were another way to put it, but at this point he doesn't seem major league ready. While this in no way spells doom for Pelfrey's long-term career, his 4 BB 2 HBP effort yesterday won't cut it on a championship contender.

Pelfrey has shown signs of improvement in his most recent two starts, but he is not striking enough batters out, as evidenced by his 14:10 BB to K ratio. That's awful. Pelfrey has that overpowering fastball, and yet he looks less and less like a future star and more and more like a groundball pitcher at best.

He's 0-4, with a 6.39 ERA, and has allowed runs in the first inning during each of his last four starts. It is certainly not a formula for success to allow early runs, and his control issues and strikeout issues will pose trouble throughout the year.

I'm not sure whether we can argue that he has been rushed to the majors: he spent almost the whole of last season in the minors, and he was considered a near lock to make the rotation after being drafted ninth overall out of Wichita State.
The Mets did ink Brian Lawrence, left, that stud of the 49-61 career record who hasn't set foot on a big league mound since 2005. He's coming off of surgery, and he wasn't exactly a flamethrower before the operation.

That being said, Lawrence will certainly push Pelfrey if Sosa is returned to the minors or sent to the bullpen. The Mets' roster composition is due for a shakeup, as Aaron Sele is for all intensive purposes useless in the pen, and Sosa's success, albeit one night's worth, makes him a potential long man.

Ambiorix Burgos will eventually be returned from AAA, and we all have the hope that he will emerge as a setup man. So where does that leave Pelf? Will he return to AAA, to work with his beloved catcher Mike DiFelice, or is Pelfrey destined for the bullpen, where his lack of effective secondary and tertiary pitches will be less poisonous?

The Mets' impending series in San Francisco is unlikely to answer the questions of Pelfrey's destiny, although Lino Urdaneta, formerly of an infinite ERA, is still on the team.

The San Francisco series will see Perez, Glavine, and Maine (who might just be the National League's best pitcher right now) for the Mets, while former infatuation Barry Zito, ridiculously good youngster Matt Cain, and veteran average pitcher Matt Morris will take the mound for the Giants.

Tonight's Perez-Zito matchup (10:15 PM, ugh, SNY) will be interesting to watch, as the Mets made a concious decision this offseason to spurn the $126 million man Zito (2-3, 3.52 ERA) in favor of the much cheaper Perez (3-2, 3.41 ERA) or Pelfrey. I have Perez with the win, as Zito's inability to generate swings and misses will probably bode well for the Mets, whose team speed is pretty good. Also, Barry Bonds is a middling 1-for-7 against Perez in his career.

The Mets will undoubtedly have to contain Barroid in this series, though I'd be surprised if he does all that much damage against their three starters. Bonds is a pretty good 26-for-80, .325 AVG, against Glavine, and Maine has never faced the Giants' slugger.

We'll see. I've ordered a Ritalin IV Drip to stay awake for tonight's game.

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1 comment:

Ash said...
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