Mike Pelfrey Named Mets Opening Day Starter
As reported by ESPN-NY’s Adam Rubin, manager Terry Collins announced that Mike Pelfrey would be the Mets’ Opening Day starting pitcher.
I wouldn’t term the decision shocking, but it is certainly unusual. I can’t think of another team that publicly announced their Opening Day starter more than three weeks before pitchers and catchers reported to spring training.
I suppose the announcement was made to boost Big Pelf’s sometimes fragile confidence. By being named the #1 so early, he is “the man” and can prepare himself as such. What does that mean? It means he won’t worry so much about his performance and stats during spring training. Instead, he’ll focus on getting himself into great shape and on working on his secondary pitches — which could still use a bit of polish.
Looking back to last spring, Pelfrey’s numbers in exhibition games were awful; he had an ERA in the 8s and we discussed here whether we should be concerned. My take was that he was “working on things”, and in the end, thank goodness he did, because the result was Pelfrey finally mixing in off-speed pitches on a consistent basis. If he spends another spring training further “experimenting” and getting used to throwing his change-up, it can only help.
But, the pessimistic side of me has two concerns about this decision to make him the #1 starter. First, I hope it doesn’t jinx him; can’t you just imagine something freakish happening in spring training to prevent Pelfrey from beginning the season? Sorry, as a Mets fan I always assume I’m walking on thin ice. Second, I’m a little concerned about Pelfrey regularly going up against the #1 starters of every other team. Surely, he won’t embarrass himself against the Roy Halladays, Josh Johnsons, Tim Hudsons, Zack Greinkes, and Chris Carpenters of the world — but can he beat them? I’m not so sure, but I guess someone has to try.
What are your thoughts on this announcement? Do you like it? Do you agree with the timing? Do you think it will be a negative or a positive?
I still don’t believe that he’s maxed-out, in terms of his potential…..and hope he continues to grow as a pitcher.
This early-announcement, while not-at-all shocking – is still a tremendous nod of confidence in Pelf’s direction.
That’s what this is about for me.
A show of confidence in him, and one party [Collins] looking to see if this show of trust will ultimately work out in the best interests of the results; not only for Pelfrey – but for his team, coming out of the starting gates.
If Pelfrey “goes Ollie” on us in St. Lucie, then you really look like a dope in possibly having to retract the announcement. If not, then there’s really no problem whatsoever.
Hopefully, Pelfrey’s met and talked with Brent Kemnitz a good deal this winter….and is ready to focus on the task at hand as soon as he reports to camp.
I’ still want to see him make strides.
But there is definitely a mental/emotional aspect of being “the #1 starter”, in the same way a batter is “the cleanup hitter”. The great ones relish or are unaffected by such labels; but some people get eaten up by them.
Who else fits the bill? Dickey is the only other reasonable candidate, to be honest. And I don’t think he’s reached tim wakefield revered status to get the opening day start. So if you know it’s going to Pelf, and you had no intentions of playing head games by being coy, why not just say it?
That being said, good for Pelf. I’ve never thought he was “soft” or a “headcase,” but just a guy who maybe thought a little too much about things. Some people are like that. He’s a sinkerballl pitcher who pitches to contact. Sometimes a ball is going to find a hole, and sometimes that’ll happen more than once in an inning. Nothing you can do about that.
Frankly given history, present reports and the peripherakls above, I think CY is the front of the rotation starter. In my opinion Niese was far and wawy a better starter last yr prior to hiiting the 90-100 innings mark (around 2nd week august?)…
my read/prediction is that niese, CY and Capuano if he makes the rotation be on 75-90 pitch counts and promptly pulled at 5-6IP. Even if pitching a no-hitter.
Capuano, young Hairston and Harris are just the type of energy guys that can push the ‘CORE’ along.
Per Gammons there is no outs in this line up. No Tejada, no castillo, etc. ADD to this RA Dickey, Niese and Young might not WIN a ton of ball games but they will keep you in most.
One thing that I believe Jerry got right is RAD does disrupt the hitter’s timing. Therefore, a combination of Pelf following RAD and pitching against the other team’s #2, could benefit him more than Niese following RAD and going against the other team’s #3.
If indeed Pelfrey was named the #1 guy for the purpose of boosting his confidence, might Pelfrey wonder why the heck the team felt the need to boost his confidence?
Does that make sense? It might be like, “hey, why do I need a confidence boost? Is there a reason I shouldn’t be confident?”.
His velocity and lack of arm trouble leave him plenty of room to improve, so we can always hope. But until he improves his Ks and BBs, I’m just as inclined to see his 2010 as lucky as to see his 2009 as unlucky.
Very few starters throw splitters these days. I’d like to see him work on that pitch above all others; if he really nails it, hitters should have trouble recognizing it.
Sorry but Pelf IS good….but I see him as a facimile of Brett Myers …as argo &Timo say he is a #2 at best…maybe really a #3-4. He is too inconsistent.
I like Niese’s poise, control and repetoire better. He is a perfect complement to Santana. As for Dickey….as JM said, if he starts a series it messes them up pretty good.
Having gotten CY, I think they did well. Tankersley, Byrdak, Boyer and capuano are also nice additions. I look forward also to a first look at Matt Harvey.
health permitting this IS a nice team.
NOW, will he CUT Ollie and Castillo?