Mike Pelfrey has Tendinitis

It’s been reported that Mike Pelfrey has tendinitis in his forearm.

Uh-oh. That’s typically a precursor to an elbow strain.

TheRopolitans has good coverage of this issue and a description of tendinitis. (The site also has a new slick look, so check it out … seems everyone is changing their look these days.)

In my experience, throwing sliders can cause and agitate forearm and elbow issues, because a righthander has to turn his hand clockwise (also called “supination”) at release, which can put a strain on the forearm and elbow ligaments. In contrast, a properly thrown fastball usually includes a slight pronation of the hand (counter-clockwise turn) during the acceleration of the arm and through the release. Luckily Big Pelf is not using the slider much anymore, but it’s still a concern. Last year Billy Wagner reported a similar injury prior to needing Tommy John surgery.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Andrew Vazzano April 15, 2009 at 12:25 pm
    Correct me if I’m wrong…but didn’t Pelfrey develop or toy with a new pitch somewhat recently?

    Am I just making this up?

  2. joe April 15, 2009 at 12:32 pm
    He did go back to the curveball, which could have something to do with it — he might have been spending more time developing it, which could have led to an overuse injury.

    Was he one of the 25 pitchers playing around with a forkball / splitfinger fastball? If so, there is some evidence that a split can put pressure on the forearm and elbow, particularly if it is gripped with the thumb up on the side of the ball rather than underneath.

  3. John Fitzgerald April 15, 2009 at 3:56 pm
    Uh oh… Santana and Maine and pray for a freakin’ monsoon.

    Except for the Maine part – he hasn’t looked too good. But it does rhyme. I’m so confused right now. Help.

  4. mic April 15, 2009 at 8:51 pm
    why not shut him down? Freddy apparently is looking ‘much improved’. And the statement about adding salary (metsblog) is out there.
  5. joe April 15, 2009 at 10:57 pm
    I think it’s still too early for Freddy. He needs to be “greatly improved”.

    I imagine the Mets were a little concerned about Ollie, and still concerned about Maine, and because of the mystery of those two, worried about pulling Pelf out. That and the fact the tendinitis was immediately played down … reminiscent of the Johan elbow issue early in ST.

  6. isuzudude April 16, 2009 at 8:48 am
    With day offs galore in early April, I see no reason why the Mets should not go the safe route and at least skip Pelfrey’s turn through the rotation.
  7. upson April 16, 2009 at 9:11 am
    so who’s getting the start here? Niese pitched on Tuesday and hence is on schedule for Pelfrey’s Sunday spot. On the other hand, his start against Milwaukee last year was not the best one. Gee pitched yesterday and hence would have to come at three days rest. Figgy, who would be a perfect match, is pitching today, but more importantly, cannot be optioned back and hence will likely not be called up for a spot start so early in the season.

    How about Stokes? Is he ready to pitch 5 innings? If yes, I would go with him and perhaps recall Muniz or Robertson for 2 additional innings – especially if the Mets do not believe O’Day to provide these innings.

  8. isuzudude April 16, 2009 at 9:25 am
    Upson: is it out of the question to have Ollie pitch on 3-days rest? I hate to get him out of sync as much as the next guy, but I think asking him to give you 90 pitches/5 solid innings isn’t too stressful. Because it seems like the other options are finding someone to demote or release to make room for a AAA spot starter, or ask Stokes or Parnell to start and max out your bullpen. Then have Pelfrey come back during next weekend’s series at home against the Nats.
  9. upson April 16, 2009 at 2:46 pm
    ‘dude: I do not have the slightest idea whether Ollie on 3-days rest is a good option.

    Nevertheless, it seems that the dilemma has been resolved already. Figueroa was pulled after 2 innings and 32 pitches today, so I guess there’s the answer. Definitely, he seems to be a good fit against the Brewers. On the other hand, I’m curious what will be the roster implications of this move.

  10. isuzudude April 16, 2009 at 4:57 pm
    If I recall correctly, the only players with options on the roster are Reed and Parnell, and I don’t see the Mets dropping either one. I had heard there were trade offers on the table for Brian Stokes during ST, so perhaps the Mets open up a spot by dealing Stokes and let Figgy remain on the roster as the longman for the indefinite future. Or, if the powers that be have soured on having the ROOGY specialist O’Day in an already right-hand heavy bullpen, then maybe he gets offered back to the Angels or gets DFA to make room. However, the smartest thing may be just to DL Pelfrey, retroactive him to his last start (which means he’ll be available to come off the DL for the final series of the month against Florida), and not fret over losing anyone from the current 25-man roster. In that case Figgy would be needed for 2 starts (vs Milwaukee on Sunday, vs Washington next Saturday, both at home), and the Mets can use the extra 15 days to help make the decision as to whether to send Figgy back to Buffalo – if he pitches poorly in place of Pelfrey – or keep him around and drop someone else who may not be performing up to snuff. That’s the option I would choose.
  11. mic April 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm
    option 3: O’day could be DFA’d. then hopefully a trade is worked out with the A’s.

    Option:4 I still think Maine has injury issues….