Posted by Mack Ade at 10:37 AM
NY Sports Dog on: - Mike Pelfrey: -
No pitcher (ok, maybe Ollie) is a tougher read for me than Mike Pelfrey. When I am on comment boards for several different Mets blogs, and see the projected lineups people post, many have Pelf as the number 2 guy. My colleague Dave Singer thinks Pelf can put up close to 17 victories. I am just not sure if he will take that step just yet. For the record, I am a big fan of Mike (I’ve got the Go Big Pelf! Tee from Brooklyn Met Fan); However, my Shea record with that shirt is 0-2, and for overall games watched in that shirt, it is 0-5), but based on just a half season, I’m not sure if he is the #2 guy yet. Much like Johan’s 2nd half approach, Pelf just pitched to contact, and forgot about throwing that perfect pitch every time. His bowling ball of a sinker did the rest. The positive is that going into June, Pelf was 2-6. The rest of the way? 11-4. Certainly, over the course of the full season, 17 wins is a possibility, with his new approach. Then again, the biggest question with Mike is whether or not he can pitch a full season in 2009, due to his workload increasing by 50 innings. Personally, I think the Verducci Theory (young pitchers should increase their workload by no more than 30 innings, to avoid injury) is flawed, because it assumes all innings are created equal. However, thanks to Mack of Mack’s Mets, I was able to do a quick analysis using pitch counts.
2007- 2,565 pitches/152.7 IP = 16.80 pitches/inning (incl. minors)
2008- 3,323 pitches/200.7 IP = 16.56 pitches/inning
Pelf threw 758 more pitches in 2008. Assuming a rate of 16.65 pitches per inning (a mid point of his 2007-8 seasons), Mike’s workload increased by close to 45.2IP – certainly a red flag. Originally, had no questions about his durability, but after crunching numbers, I do have some reservations. Ultimately, I think the Mets will feature yet another strong staff anchored by a true ace in Johan, and 3 other solid pitchers. I think that Omar has been very wise in building depth for the rotation with the rash of minor league signings, so the team isn’t undermined by poor 5th starter performance, as it has been the past two seasons. Furthermore, I think the depth will come in handy to give Pelfrey a breather in the middle of the season.