Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Contemplating Mike Pelfrey

Mike Pelfrey after Monday's game: 7.66 ERA in
five starts and 22.1 innings.

Credit Mike Pelfrey with recognizing that, although he is pitching in the major leagues, he is not pitching major league ball:

I don't make any excuses for the way I've pitched. It's unacceptable. It's below the standards I've set for myself. It's been a bad month. I guarantee I've had a lot worse months but this is not acceptable. Hopefully May will be a lot better. It better be a lot better or I'm sure things will change.

When even the pitcher in question talks about losing his rotation job, it's some smoke to signal a fire.

How much longer is Pelfrey's leash? If recent Twins history is a guide, he'll get a couple more starts to turn it around. Mid-May is the time when the Twins have disposed of "disposable veteran" starters who didn't start off well:

  • Sidney Ponson, 2007, got seven starts, last one on May 12.
  • Jason Marquis, 2012, got seven starts, last one on May 20.
  • Ramon Ortiz, 2007, had an April comparable to Kevin Correia's this year, then deteriorated so quickly that he was out of the rotation after 10 starts. (After five starts, Ortiz had a 2.57 ERA; after 10, 5.75.)

Pelfrey was better Monday than he has been, but not all that good.

One issue might be who would take his place. Cole De Vries and Sam Deduno haven't taken the mound in a minor league game yet, and I doubt there's any enthusiasm for giving Liam Hendriks another go-around. Kyle Gibson's numbers with Rochester don't look too bad — I'm particularly struck with the 26 strikeouts in 27 innings — and maybe the Twins will deem him ready for his major league debut in a couple of weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Recently you commented that the Twins need to determine the value of such players as Parmalee, Pouffle, Dozier etc. I completely agree. But Pelfrey's struggles beg the question: why aren't they taking the same posture toward Hendricks? Have they soured on him already? I really expected him to get 10 or 15 starts so that his value could be appraised as well.