Skip to content

Maybe the Mets should just release Mike Pelfrey

Mar 18, 2012, 9:00 PM EDT

Mike Pelfrey adjusts his cap after giving a run to the Houston Astros in Kissimmee, Florida Reuters

Mike Pelfrey gave up eight runs to the Astros (of all teams) on Sunday, taking his spring ERA to 14.90.  In the best of his three starts, he allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings and struck out none versus the Cardinals. Overall, he’s allowed 16 runs, 20 hits and six walks while striking out four in 9 2/3 innings.

Granted, it’s just 9 2/3 innings. But Pelfrey also had a 4.74 ERA last year that included a career-high home run rate and a career-low strikeout rate. He’s now pitched 4 1/2 seasons in the bigs with a 4.40 ERA, and instead of getting better, he appears to be getting worse.

So, maybe the Mets, who are pretty desperate for cash anyway, should just go ahead and cut him. In so doing, they’d recoup three-quarters of his $5.6875 million salary. They lack any great options to replace him, but both Jeremy Hefner and Chris Schwinden have performed well this spring and they might want to look at both before top prospects Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia start beating down the door.

I don’t really expect the Mets to take that step. Only the cash-strapped Wilpons have anything to gain by it, and if they did release one of their more expensive players, they’d be even greater laughing stocks around the league. I don’t expect much from Pelfrey this season, but he’ll probably be a reasonable fourth starter and there’s always the chance he’ll have a season more like his 2010, which would make him pretty valuable trade bait come June or July. But I think that’s a long shot. They probably wouldn’t lose much if they decided to move on.

  1. bleedgreen - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    As a Phillies fan, I agree. They should release him. He seems to be the only pitcher on the Mets that can consistently shut them down.

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:32 PM

      Phillies batters over Pelfrey’s career have hit .299/.353/.449. 44 Ks in 354 AB. Not exactly shut-down numbers.

      • bleedgreen - Mar 19, 2012 at 8:36 AM

        No, it just SEEMS that way. The Phillies, whenever they are slumping offensively, seem to face Pelfrey. I know Dickey has historically made them look silly, but most knuckleballers do. They really knocked Dickey around the last 2 or 3 times they’ve faced him though, if I recall correctly.

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:36 PM

      For comparison sake vs. R.A. Dickey Phillies hit .248/.301/.373 and Jon Niese (who has the same amount of service time as Pelfrey) has held them to .257/.323/.366

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:42 PM

      Correction: Pelfrey has 2 more years of service than Niese.

  2. Gonzo - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    if they did release one of their more expensive players, they’d be even greater laughing stocks around the league.

    Why would they be a laughing stock? They get to release $5.6Mil of a guy who has sucked the past few years. AND they get back 75% of his salary? The fans see this disappointment off the team and the team gets money back. It’s a win/win.

    Oh, can you explain how they get money back? I thought all MLB contracts were guaranteed.

    • D.J. Short - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:51 PM

      Contracts through arbitration, like Pelfrey’s, are not guaranteed. See Armando Galarraga from last offseason, for one example.

      • Gonzo - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:25 PM

        So the Phillies can cut Cole hamels and his $15Mil contract and get 75% back? That’s a weird rule. Never heard of it.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 19, 2012 at 7:16 AM

        The way Hamels pitched yesterday, the Phillies may want to release him and keep Blanton.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 19, 2012 at 7:46 AM

        Just kidding re Hamels

  3. chill1184 - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    Releasing a player who is consistently bad or somewhat mediocre is viewed as a worse move than keeping him? That makes no sense, Pelfrey had one flash in the pan season (2010) and has been going up and down in the other seasons. If Pelfrey hasn’t gotten it by now I have no faith that he will ever get it.

  4. firstandonlywarning - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Right runs>Wrong runs

  5. drubeatz - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Cutting Pelfrey would be the best thing the team did this year. So far they’ve done nothing but stink up the field. I doubt the Wilpons would make a good baseball decision.

  6. Old Gator - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Release Mike Pelfry! Look at that drooping dorsal fin….

  7. jdd428 - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    I’m sure Hefner will not beat out Pelfrey coming out of camp. In fact, I guarantee it:

    http://rotoworld.com/player/mlb/5801/jeremy-hefner

  8. Chris K - Mar 19, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    This is like John Maine all over again

  9. mjay424 - Mar 19, 2012 at 4:15 AM

    I would (strongly) assume he is hurt. Those sorts of bad numbers, way outside his norm, for a veteran pitcher don’t indicate rustiness or just poor execution of pitches but something wrong physically.

  10. revisisland24 - Mar 19, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    Moneyball Mets!! 2012 World Series Champions!!

    Probably not, but these days as a Mets fan, you have to be able to hope for something.. ANYTHING!! :(

  11. Jonny 5 - Mar 19, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    It’s quite obvious to me what his problem is. He’s out of saliva.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/report-mets-mike-pelfrey-licks-himself-89-times-in-game?urn=mlb,wp18217

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 19, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      Exactly. If only he could get a little more tongue-to-hand contact I’m sure he’d be an ace!

      Seriously, the only thing more embarrassing that cutting Pelfrey now is watching him stink up a few games and cutting him once the season starts and his money is guaranteed. He will not be a part of the next good Mets team, so why let him linger? Use the savings to go sign a Cuban or some other flashy move for the fans.

      • Jonny 5 - Mar 19, 2012 at 9:01 AM

        Can’t disagree with logic. In that case they should trade Wright now as well. He’s going to become a FA they can’t afford anyway. Could they use a Blanton more than a Wright?

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 19, 2012 at 10:55 AM

        Wright’s salary is guaranteed. They might as well see if he can do anything to improve his stock. In fact, if he is traded he can void his 2013 option, so they might as well keep him around this year, pick up his option and trade him next year. They would be trading the same amount of contract time, while keeping a popular player for one more year and giving him a chance to improve his stats with the new smaller home park.

  12. 61nunzio - Mar 19, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    …get rid of him now, before he becomes the next “Ollie Perez”!

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. M. Bumgarner (3991)
  2. O. Taveras (3057)
  3. J. Maddon (3027)
  4. T. Lincecum (2728)
  5. M. Morse (2119)
  1. P. Sandoval (2110)
  2. H. Pence (2076)
  3. Y. Cespedes (2042)
  4. M. Moustakas (1904)
  5. E. Hosmer (1861)