New York Mets News

A Rising Apple Conversation About Mike Pelfrey

By Unknown author

It’s pretty standard procedure for myself and Matt Kaufman to discuss anything Mets-related via Gchat. In fact, it happens quite often. With Mike Pelfrey’s start coming up tonight against the Brewers, Matt and I discussed, unfortunately, the many ways that we think Mike Pelfrey has regressed since last season, and even his future with the franchise.

BERKON: I was looking at Pelfrey’s stats, and I noticed quite a spike in his HR/FB ratio (10.5%). It was half that last season.

KAUFMAN: In some ways, that’s just a matter of luck [or unluckiness].

BERKON: Or maybe hitters are just hitting him with more authority [because he sucks].

KAUFMAN: LOL. Well what’s crazy is his FIP is lower than his ERA (4.91 vs. 5.56). So he’s pitched a little better than his ERA, however, his BABIP is also real low–like under .300–so he’s actually legit not doing well. The bottom line is that he’s giving up more hits and more flyballs. [That might not bode well for Miller Park tonight].

BERKON: He is giving up more flyballs (8% more than last season), but should that really result in a 5% spike in HR/FB?

KAUFMAN: While pitchers can control (to an extent) the type of batted balls hit against them, there is less skill involved when considering whether a ball is hit into the seats or to the warning track. For example, pitchers that throw in a home ballpark with short fences will tend to have a higher homerun rate than pitchers that throw in large ballparks. More specifically, of the 10 homeruns he’s allowed, 7 have been on the road–including 2 in Philadelphia and 3 in Colorado. Those are two pretty good places to hit homeruns.

BERKON: That is true.

KAUFMAN: In fact, according to Hit Tracker Online, 3 of his 10 homeruns barely cleared the fence and three were no doubters.

BERKON: Where were the 3 that “barely cleared?”

KAUFMAN: 2 were at Coors Field [in Colorado], and the other was the Opening Day grand slam.

BERKON: I think it’s pretty clear he has regressed since last season…

KAUFMAN: I agree. And I can see Sandy Alderson doing one of two things: (1) trade him (the ideal situation) or (2) just non-tender him since he has two years of arbitration eligibility and he won’t come cheap.

BERKON: I agree 100% with the first point, but do you think non-tendering him would be a prudent decision?

KAUFMAN: Since we already have Santana, Niese, Dickey, and Gee next season, adding a Capuano/Young-type instead of Pelfrey would be a smart, cost-cutting move. You also have to figure that Matt Harvey (or someone else) might be ready by the second half of 2012, so that fifth starter via free-agency would just be a stop-gap.

BERKON: It might be an unpopular move amongst WFAN callers, but I like it.