Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Loss of Pelfrey Provides Clarity For The Future

Baseball is a cruel business. Having never known another organization, Mike Pelfrey was drafted by the Mets, developed by the Mets, and to some extent excelled with the Mets at the major league level. That all ends today when he has Tommy John surgery. Mike Pelfrey's career with the Mets is essentially over.

Although Mike was one of the more frustrating players to watch in recent memory, his loss greatly complicates the 2012 campaign for the Mets. Few alternatives exist for the Mets in the starting rotation. Chris Swinden, who experienced major struggles in his first start as Pelfrey's replacement was the logical choice. Behind him stands Jeremy Hefner, whose Major League experience is also minimal. Then, there is Chris Young...eventually.

For all the immediate problems the loss of Mike Pelfrey creates, it also provides some long term clarity. The Mets have a lot of young arms making their way through the minor league ranks. Several of these arms will indeed be starters, but prior to Pelfrey's injury there was no place to put them.

Johan Santana, RA Dickey and especially Jon Niese appear to be locks for the 2013 rotation barring injury. Dillon Gee has proven himself to be a valuable fifth starter, but potentially expendable when the Matt Harvey's and Jersys Familias of the world make their way to Queens full-time.

Pelfrey's loss, while unfortunate, means the team has one less tough decision to make, and in all likelihood, another $5 million to place elsewhere on the payroll. Who permanently fills his position in the rotation remains to be seen, but a rotational overhaul is in the works in the next two years. If the Mets were uncertain who would be the odd man out, they now have their answer. Mike Pelfrey's days in Queens, for better or worse, are over.