Tuesday, August 16, 2011

They're Outta Here!

Yes, he was right.  Yes, everyone overreacted to what he said.  But if Mike Pelfrey hadn't pitched himself out of New York already, he certainly talked himself out the door this weekend.  The former ninth overall pick has been a top prospect, a struggling young pitcher, a potential staff ace and finally, a malcontent.  He has pitched extremely well and extremely poorly.  He was supposed to be the ideal pitcher for the expansive CitiField, and for a year it looked like he might be.  Now it looks like he'll be pitching somewhere else next year.  But he won't be the only Met leaving town.

A five-game losing streak can frustrate any player, but sports fans don't expect the kind of candor Pelfrey showed this weekend.  He didn't believe the team could win it all this year - realistic Mets fans surely didn't think this was the year, either.  But more importantly, he has not done his job this season.  With Johan Santana on the shelf, this was Pelfrey's year to shine.  Last season was incredibly positive for the young righty - he won 15 games, he had a solid 3.66 ERA, career highs in innings and strikeouts.  The 6'7" 27-year-old was poised to hit his prime.

Instead, he's pitched to a 4.53 ERA while giving up more homers in 50 less innings than 2010.  Less than half his starts have been quality starts.  Most importantly, his ground ball/fly ball ratio is down from last year - a vital stat for a starter who pitches to contact and does not strike many guys out.  Opposing batters are hitting about the same average against Pelfrey as they did last year, but with a slugging percentage thirty points higher.

Pelfrey will probably be shown the door this winter, either for an arm or an outfield bat.  With his value low, hopefully an opposing team will take a chance on his age and his talent and give up something good. These next few guys may not bring back much of a haul.

Jason Bay

I have written so much about Jason Bay that there is nothing more I can possibly add, except to say that the Mets would be better served paying for him to leave than continuing to trot him out on the field.

Angel Pagan

A 2010 standout like Pelfrey who regressed big time this year. Pagan has cleared waivers and is a decent candidate to be traded before the month is out.  He has been hurt all year, all his stats are down and he just turned 30 last month - not much chance for a turnaround in the future. Pagan is a guy who seems to have the talent but not the ability to put it together and it will be a shame to see him go.

Willie Harris/Scott Hairston

If these guys are in your future plans, your future is not so bright.  In limited action, Hairston is slugging .517, but at age 31 he is not someone you want starting in the outfield.  Harris' season stats are not so far off from his career stats, which means he is having a typically terrible season.

DJ Carrasco

The Mets big offseason signing has given up 40 hits in 37 innings, with a 4.86 ERA. With one more year on his contract, the Mets will be glad to find a taker. I don't actually think I could pick him out of a police lineup.

Notice Jose Reyes is conspicuously absent from this list.  The Mets top free agent targets, later this week.

Evan is also the author of Umpire State. Follow him on Twitter @Evan_S_S.

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