May 27, 2007
Mike Pelt Me. Oh, I mean Mike Pelfrey. The former Wichita State Shocker star pitcher was supposed to be ready to pitch for the New York Mets NOW.
Well, what a difference the regular season makes as opposed to spring training. While Pelfrey was virtually invincible at that time we found out how little that means in many cases. Spring training cost Jorge Sosa a chance at being the fifth starter earlier this year because he had a bad spring. Now after returning from triple A and under Rick Peterson’s tutelage he seems to have rediscovered the form that made him 13-3 in 2005 for the Atlanta Braves and his nasty slider has returned to go with a good moving fastball that allows him to strike out some hitters as well.
In comparing rookie pitchers while rookie reliever Joe Smith has continued his mastery during this season that began in spring training of getting out major league hitters to the tune of an ERA of nearly 1.00 Pelfrey was giving up almost 6 runs per game! This is very distrurbing especially the way the Mets kept singing his praises. If Pelfrey really throws 90-96 miles per hour then why can’t he strike people out!
His pitches appear to have little to no movement and he certainly hasn’t learned anything about changing speeds. A good changeup with movement at about 80 miles an hour would help or perhaps a splitter or curve. Meanwhile we hardly ever heard of Joe Smith until spring training and look how effective he’s been and how quickly he seems to have learned how to pitch at this level. Go figure!
However the worst part about Pelfrey is his lack of control of his fastball in the strike zone. Joe Smith said "he’ll figure it out heck, he throws up to 96 mph an hour. " Well, Joe maybe you’ll be right yet but right now he flat out hasn’t figured out anything about pitching at this level at all. Since he has proven he can’t blow hitters away you’d think he’d have developed some breaking pitches but I guess not!
While I am very pleased with Sosa and believed he could be as good as he was two years ago that is how equally I am unhappy with Pelfrey, a college pitcher who may have been overrated because he’s 6"7 and throws hard. A phenom he’s definitely not.
The young "phenoms" I’ve seen that are right-handed and bring it are pitchers like the San Diego Padres’ ace Jake Peavy who may be the best pitcher in the National League, San Francisco Giants’ Matt Cain, rookie Tim Liniscomb, Yankees’ rookie righty Phillip Hughes and Cleveland Indians righty Fausto Carmona just to name some others who seemed to have figured it out at this level. Certainly they’ve picked it up quicker than this so-called phenom!
I hope Pelfrey proves me wrong but until he does he will be "Mike Pelt-me!"
That’s all for now from the Fan for Life. To trade opinions or to express your opinions or questions on baseball or other sports please watch "On The Sportslines". We’re on every other Thursday at 9PM. Our next show is Thursday, June 7th. You can see us on www.mnn.org.com or on Channel 57 Time Warner Cable in Manhattan.