Monday, May 4, 2015

Contemplating Mike Pelfrey

Mike Pelfrey threw
61 pitches on Sunday,
35 for strikes.
Mike Pelfrey made four starts in April. He was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in those four starts, and I was starting to reconcile myself to the idea that he is going to stick in the rotation.

I was even starting to consider seriously the notion that Pelfrey might attract trade interest from other teams -- and to fret that the front office might respond to such interest by looking to extend his contract, and to take solace in the reality that Pelfrey's agent is Scott Boras, who tends to avoid such things.

And then Pelfrey started Sunday and pitched like he was allergic to the strike zone. There's a longstanding mantra among pitching coaches -- work fast, throw strikes, change speeds. Pelfrey is habitually adverse to any of those principles. He certainly was on Sunday.

As I observed in the Monday print column, the Twins have six pitchers for five rotation spots right now, and a seventh (Ervin Santana) coming online in two months. Tommy Milone is the guy without a chair at the moment. I have believed all along that Milone is a better bet than Pelfrey. Their roster statuses make it easier for the Twins to go with Pelfrey. Games like Sunday will make it more difficult.

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