Mets vs. Cardinals Notes

Mike Pelfrey‘s velocity was up — his fastball was hanging around 92-93 MPH, touched 94 — but his command was poor. How can a pitcher have poor command and yet not walk anyone? Because command means putting the ball where you want it, and even though Pelfrey threw plenty of strikes, I don’t believe he was hitting the spots he wanted to hit within the strike zone. Further, he fell behind on the count often, and would respond by throwing the ball over the middle of the plate — which is why he was hit fairly hard in the first few frames.

What I did like was it appeared as though Pelfrey was consciously trying to stay a little taller during his leg lift, and trying to hold that nice upright posture as he came out of the leg lift and began the stride. That tiny adjustment by itself may have contributed to his increase in velocity.

However, there were two other disappointments from the outing. First, as usual, he fell to pieces in the face of adversity.With runners on, Pelfrey struggles — as he always has. When he gets into a difficult situation, his body language expresses fear and confusion — and the results are negative. The look on his face is “how am I going to get out of this?”

The other disappointment was the lack of off-speed pitches. Maybe he was working on his fastball, which is understandable, so I’ll give him a pass. He did spin a handful of overhand curveballs that had promising vertical break, which was encouraging. But the closest thing to a change-up he displayed was a 88-89 MPH sinker.

Lucas Duda nearly knocked over the batter’s eye with a bomb over the center field wall. I don’t think he could possibly hit a ball harder.

Ike Davis also went yard, though not as impressively. However, it was nonetheless nice to see him drop one over the opposite-field fence. The Davis and Duda Show may be the one to watch this summer.

Jordany Valdespin continues to look like a Major Leaguer. What Major Leaguer, and at what position, I’m not sure, but he looks like one. For some reason Carl Everett, Tito Fuentes, and Willie Mays Hayes come to mind.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Mike Nickeas looks like someone who is playing the part of an opposing ballplayer in a baseball movie. Don’t ask me why, but I can easily see him coming to the plate against Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn or Nuke LaLoosh.

Frank Francisco continues to look unlike a closer.

That’s it for me. What did YOU see in the exhibition? Post your notes in the comments.


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. Jim March 25, 2012 at 9:00 pm
    Actually, Pelfrey did throw a fair amount of 83-85 MPH pitches…I think that these were his changeups and in the second inning he left a couple up and really got hurt with them. The double over Duda’s head was on an 84 mph pitch down the middle of the plate, thigh high–not a good place to locate…
    Pelfrey is what he is…a # 5 starter who will periodically throw a great game. I do think he would be more successful if he would recognize the KEY for him is to PITCH to contact…he is simply a thrower now. If he were to concentrate on changing the plane of his pitches and focus on his sinker (should be 50% of his pitches), 4-seam fastball (20 %) and change up (20 %) and curve (10 %), he MAY be able win in double digits…