Tag: Mike Pelfrey

Mike Pelfrey to Tigers: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

The Detroit Tigers have reportedly reached an agreement with free-agent starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey on a two-year contract.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported a deal was expected. Joel Sherman confirmed the news, which is pending an official physical, and passed along the length of the contract.

Pelfrey is nothing more than rotation depth for Detroit. He’s coming off a three-year stint with AL Central rivals Minnesota Twins that saw him post a lackluster 4.94 ERA with just 197 strikeouts in 341 innings across 64 starts.

He did have slightly more success when facing the Tigers during that time period, though. He had a 3.88 ERA in nine outings against his new team while with Minnesota.

One thing he does do well is keep the ball in the park. He’s only given up 99 home runs in 217 career appearances, and when you consider the spacious Comerica Park ranked 26th in homers per game last season, per ESPN, it could make him a good fit.

Ultimately, he’ll likely fill one of the bottom two spots in the Tigers’ rotation to open the 2016 season. Detroit already has a solid top three in Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez and previous offseason acquisition Jordan Zimmermann.

Expectations should be limited for the 31-year-old right-hander, but if Pelfrey can provide the team with 30 starts and an ERA similar to last season’s 4.26, it should be a worthwhile investment. Anything better than that would be a bonus.


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Twins Prank Mike Pelfrey with Fake Wichita State March Madness Speech

Mike Pelfrey‘s legendary speech to Wichita State may not give you goosebumps, but it will make you laugh out loud. 

MLB Fan Cave caught just one of the myriad ways that MLB players decide to prank their teammates. This time, Twins closer Glen Perkins and manager Ron Gardenhire collaborate to pull a fast one on one of their starting pitchers. 

Pelfrey walks into the skipper’s office, where it is explained that Wichita State loves to hear from celebrities and may want an inspirational speech to keep the team rolling along in the NCAA tournament. 

We were all underwhelmed on both counts

Pelfrey, being an alumnus, is the perfect man to give an impassioned speech that would make Ray Lewis envious. 

Unfortunately, his ability to knock the walls down with a booming voice and colorful language is on par with the manner in which you give out driving directions. 

The 30-year-old sounds like he is ordering pizza, leaving Gardenhire to try and get something more from his pitcher, which is kind of how their relationship normally works. 

Of course, there is no Wichita State. 

Well, there is, but the Shockers were off somewhere safe from things like, “You guys always remember how good you are and what got you there” and “so go [expletive] get ’em.”

Thanks to hidden cameras, we get to see it all play out. Still, we have to think Pelfrey should have seen this coming. 

First, who gives inspirational speeches via phone? This is only slightly worse than giving a rousing text to your alma mater. 

Second, Perkins nearly gives things away from the start. Do we really believe “Darren” from the Wichita State athletic department is going to start any conversation out with, “Hey, Gardey. How are you doing?”

It’s “Mr. Gardenhire, sir,” and don’t you forget it. 

The best part of the entire charade is the end, when Perkins offers, “We appreciate that. The funny thing is, though, we are out in the clubhouse, Mike, you Munson.”

Where do we keep getting Munson from?

Now we have a glorious video that serves two purposes. On one hand, we have a wonderful look into a loose clubhouse that knows how to laugh. If we might be so bold, we might ask the comedy troupe of Perkins and Gardey to deliver another shortly. 

On the other hand, we now know exactly how a March Madness speech from Pelfrey would go, so feel free to use this however you’d like next season, Shockers. 

Perhaps, and this may just be our undying love for baseball talking, if Pelfrey was able to give this thing before the weekend, the Shockers might still be alive and kicking in the Big Dance. 

Something tells me his words could do more than move mountains. They can absolutely decimate a clubhouse. 


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Boston Red Sox Have Some Options from Recently Non-Tendered Players

The deadline to tender arbitration-eligible players a contract has come and gone.

A few names jump out as players the Boston Red Sox might have some interest in bringing to spring training.

Most of the attention will be placed on pitching, pitching and more pitching. If the Sox have learned anything the last couple of seasons, it’s that they can’t have enough pitching options available to them through the season.

Most of the these pitchers can be brought in on minor league deals with an invite to spring training or on a major league contract with a low base salary accompanied by incentives.

The Mets cut Mike Pelfrey loose, someone the Sox might bring in on a one-year, low-base contract with incentives. Pelfrey might be receptive to this coming off of Tommy John surgery to rebuild his value.

The Nationals let both John Lannan and Tom Gorzelanny go, two more options for the Sox if they wanted to add a lefty to the rotation.

Jair Jurrjens is a complete enigma at this point and the Braves finally gave up on him. Doesn’t mean the Sox shouldn’t give him a look, especially given his relative young age of 26 and the flashes of potential that he has shown in his career.

Jeff Karstens was non-tendered by the Pirates, and before you ask why the Sox would want a pitcher that couldn’t make it with the Bucs, he actually pitched pretty well for them. He might give the Sox what Alfredo Aceves gives them—you know, without the crazy.

Rich Hill actually pitched very well for the Red Sox last season and wasn’t tendered a contract mostly due to health concerns. When Hill has been healthy and been able to pitch, he has been a weapon for the Sox as a left-handed specialist, pitching to a 1.14 ERA over the parts of three seasons. All three seasons have been interrupted by injuries.


Obviously, former Giants closer Brian Wilson slots very easily into the back end of the Sox bullpen and gives the team insurance against the injuries and performance of Andrew Bailey.

Wilson is someone that I discussed here in the past. Jurrjens, Pelfrey and Wilson are options that I have broken down before in this article.

As far as hitters goes, it’s pretty slim pickings.

Mark Reynolds is an obvious name that sticks out, but the Red Sox can do better at first base and should only sign Reynolds if everything else falls through. Reynolds was a productive player down the stretch for the Orioles in 2012, but his strikeout numbers are still a major concern, as is his .221 batting average in his two years with the O’s.

Brandon Snyder is another first base option for the Sox, albeit cheaper and less experienced. Snyder has looked pretty good in his limited time in the majors with the Orioles and Rangers.

Other than that? Not much, unless the Sox want to get some 1B/3B insurance with Jack Hannahan, CF insurance with former Met Andres Torres or an OF platoon partner in Nate Schierholtz.

None of the players would immediately impact the Sox next season, but they would provide valuable and much-needed depth—especially to the pitching staff and bench.

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New York Mets Pitcher Mike Pelfrey Gets off the Trade Bait Hook, for Now

Mike Pelfrey‘s name popped up in the trade rumor mill even before spring training began. After a couple of horrendous outings for the Mets, the question wasn’t so much about Pelfrey as trade bait. It was more about whether Mets manager Terry Collins would fish or cut bait.

Pelfrey started in horrendous fashion. The 28-year-old right-hander gave up 20 runs in his first four spring starts. Still, he remained optimistic.

“Every spring training I’ve had, I don’t know if I’ve had a good one,” Pelfrey said after being tagged for eight runs by the Houston Astros. “So it doesn’t necessarily concern me that much, but at the end of the day, I threw 80 pitches. I feel good.”

But the front office didn’t. Collins went to Pelfrey with a warning: The brass is not impressed. There was talk that he would be released before Opening Day if he didn’t step up.

Pelfrey responded. His final two starts of the spring were outstanding. On Tuesday, he struck out five New York Yankees in four innings and gave up just one run.

So Pelfrey will travel north with the team. But were two good outings enough to secure his future?

Unlikely. Of all the Mets starters, Pelfrey remains the most expendable.

Pelfrey had his chance to emerge as a mainstay of the Mets pitching staff last year while Johan Santana sat out the season recovering from surgery. Instead, he posted a disappointing 7-13 record with a 4.74 ERA.

Now, Santana is back, and Jonathon Niese is on the verge of signing a five-year contract. R.A. Dickey is a workhorse; he led the team in innings pitched last year and often lasts late into games, saving the Mets from dipping into a suspect group of middle relievers. Dillon Gee still needs seasoning, but the Mets seem committed to him for the future.

Whether Pelfrey or Gee will be the fifth starter hasn’t been announced. Either way, Pelfrey remains the most likely Mets pitcher to end up on the trade block.

Pelfrey, though inconsistent, could prove a useful fifth starter on a team making a run for the pennant. There’s no financial downside in unloading him; only $1 million of his $5.58 million contract is guaranteed.

Even if Pelfrey starts throwing like a batting practice pitcher again, he retains value as part of a package. Toss him in with David Wright, and the Mets could lure a promising young player.

Don’t look for a superstar, though. The Mets are still too financially strapped to take on a big contract. Almost any trade would have to be of equal value or less than the combined contracts of Pelfrey and Wright, or Pelfrey and any other player who could push a better team to a title.

Prediction: Pelfrey will be gone by midsummer. The mystery is, who will go with him?

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New York Mets: Projections for the Starting Rotation

If the New York Mets are going to have any chance of finishing over .500 this season, then they are going to need to get a lot of outstanding performances from their starting pitchers.

The Mets’ rotation is set entering the season, but they still have a number of questions about the health and abilities of their starters.

It is very possible that the Mets’ rotation looks a lot different at the end of the year. Pitchers may be dealt and prospects may come up from the minors to replace ineffective starters.

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New York Mets: Will Mike Pelfrey Ever Get Past His Mental Strength Issues?

The 2012 New York Mets still have a lot of question marks going into the upcoming season. While Jason Bay’s hitting, David Wright’s trade possibility and the health of Johan Santana are going to be three big topics of discussion throughout the entire season, no other Met is as big of an X-factor to the team’s potential success than Mike Pelfrey.

Pelfrey was the Mets’ Opening Day starter in 2011 but did not live up to his expectations at all. After going 15-9 with a 3.66 ERA during his career season in 2010, Pelfrey struggled the following year with a 7-13 record and a 4.74 ERA. His other numbers between 2010 and 2011 were not too different, though, with the only exception being the fact that he gave up nine more home runs in 2011.

The 2011 Mets’ offense not giving Pelfrey enough run support that year could have affected his record in a significant way, but it was clear that Pelfrey was lacking command more often last year than in 2010.

He has always been a sinkerballer, but in 2011, he began to incorporate more secondary pitches in an attempt to fool opposing hitters more, due to the fact that he is not a high-strikeout pitcher. In fact, Pelfrey at one point was throwing seven different pitches, which is probably too many pitches for a relatively young pitcher like him to be able to master thoroughly. Some pitchers may have been able to do this, but Pelfrey likely is not one of them.

As a result, Pelfrey should go back to his bread-and-butter pitches, which are his sinker and curveball, just so he can feel more confident. Pelfrey as a pitcher is all about his confidence. He may not be the most visibly emotional player on the field and has rarely lost his temper completely, but it has become pretty clear that if he gets in a bad situation and starts giving up a lot of runs and/or allowing many baserunners, he will almost always struggle to get out of trouble.



Also, when Pelfrey’s command is not there on a given day, he has often let his frustrations get to his head and cause him to try to do too much to battle out of a situation. The reason why this hasn’t worked is because he is not that kind of power pitcher that can use pitches with high velocity to get through difficult innings. He also is not exactly a control pitcher, so the fact that he doesn’t have the greatest weapons in the world to trust at any given moment could explain why Pelfrey has lacked confidence at times and has let the difficult innings get to his head.

Hopefully, Pelfrey’s biggest goal in 2012 will not be to try and win over 15 games or improve his single-season stats to another level. Instead, what he really needs to find is his own unique identity as a pitcher.

Again, Pelfrey has looked lost at times on the mound and is likely confused as to what kind of pitcher he is. He might even be trying to be both a power and a control pitcher all into one, but this simply will not work for him.

Pelfrey needs to just be who he is as a pitcher and not try to be a Greg Maddux or Randy Johnson at every moment. He is Mike Pelfrey and he needs to discover who he really is as a pitcher. Just because one pitcher is successful in a certain way doesn’t mean that any pitcher can achieve similar amounts of success just by following what that one pitcher did. Each pitcher is unique and is gifted in different ways.

If Pelfrey could discover all this within himself, it could make a world of a difference for years to come. He needs to trust his own pitches that he has used for years instead of trying to learn so many new pitches on the go. If he just pitches like himself, the sky is the limit for his potential.

All in all, if Pelfrey really dedicates this season to figuring out his pitching identity, he might be able to get past his mental strength issues over the next few years. This is not an instant process and will take multiple seasons to accomplish.



With the Mets not being under any pressure to succeed whatsoever, this is the perfect time for Pelfrey to look in the mirror and discover who he is as a major league pitcher for a team in the world’s largest city. If he succeeds in doing so and pitches well this year, significant progress will be made, but he will have to pitch well in 2013 as well to see if he truly discovered his pitching identity.

Pitching well in opposite seasons will not be good enough in order to become a solid and reliable starting pitcher. So far, Pelfrey has had success in even-numbered seasons and has struggled in odd-numbered seasons. History thus states that Pelfrey will pitch well in 2012, but again, in order to see if Pelfrey has improved as a pitcher, the next two seasons both need to be successful before one could consider someone like Pelfrey to be an elite pitcher.

With the track record he has had, Pelfrey should have a solid season in 2012, but if that does not end up being the case, the Mets may need to trade or release him to benefit the team going forward. The Mets currently have three great pitching prospects developing in the minor leagues and these next two seasons could make or break Pelfrey’s chances of staying with the Mets in the future.

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New York Mets: What the Experts Are Saying About the 2012 Mets

With less than a month until New York Mets pitcher and catchers report to spring training in Port St. Lucie, Florida, many predictions about this 2012 squad have already been published. 

Whether these estimations have the Mets written off in a deep National League East, or as a sleeper candidate to finish above .500, you never know until game 162 is in the books.

It’s easy to be optimistic about this team as a life-long fan, but lets see what Mets “experts” have to say about this team as the 2012 preseason is only weeks away.

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Fantasy Baseball Lineup Decisions: Home/Road Splits: Jimenez, Pelfrey and Lewis

Is there anything to pitchers who look significantly better at home as opposed to on the road (or vice versa)?  Should we be playing those matchups more closely? 

Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at some of the more notable splits and determining if we should be sitting a pitcher in certain situations:

Ubaldo Jimenez – Colorado Rockies
Home ERA – 6.86 (42.0 innings)
Road ERA – 2.14 (42.0 innings)

His dominance away from Coors Field continued last night, as he tossed a gem against the New York Yankees (not that the environment was any better than his home ballpark), allowing two ER on four H and four BB, striking out seven, over 7.0 innings. 

The biggest difference in his performance?  At home, he has allowed seven HR, on the road zero.

The question is if this is a new trend or something that has plagued Jimenez in the past. 

Last season he posted a 3.19 ERA at home, in 2009 he was at 3.34.  In other words, his struggles at home have not been seen before, even after he regressed in 2010.  From July forward he made nine starts at home, only twice allowing more than three ER.

It really doesn’t appear that there is too much to worry about at this point.  Jimenez is too good of an option to put on your bench anyways and you have to think that he is going to correct the problem before long. 

Stay patient and you should benefit.  His next start comes at home against the Chicago White Sox.  Despite his issues, I’d keep him active and take the “risk.”

Mike Pelfrey – New York Mets
Home ERA – 2.96 (48.2 innings)
Road ERA – 6.65 (47.1 innings)

Does it surprise anyone that Pelfrey has excelled at the spacious Citi Field, while getting his clocked cleaned on the road?  The trend continued yesterday, allowing four ER against the Rangers in Texas.

It’s very similar to last year’s split, when he went 10-3 with a 2.83 ERA at home and 5-6 with a 4.95 ERA on the road.  It’s not that he’s an extreme fly ball pitcher, though he has seen a significant jump in his fly ball rate this season. 

Last season he was at 32.0 percent and for his career he’s at 31.6 percent.  This season?  He’s at 41.0 percent, which is an entirely different issue. 

Maybe he’s trying to adjust his style to pitch to his ballpark, but that certainly doesn’t help him when he’s on the road.  He’s allowed 14 HR on the season, only four have come at home.

Pelfrey is more of a pitch and ditch option at this point, but using him when he is on the road, no matter what the matchup, would not be a wise decision. 

He has only allowed less than three ER in two road starts this season.  If he’s pitching at home, he could be worth the flier; otherwise, leave him sitting on the waiver wire.


Colby Lewis – Texas Rangers
Home ERA – 6.13 (39.2 innings)
Road ERA – 3.19 (53.2 innings)

It’s interesting to look at Lewis’ splits, because he’s been burned by the long ball all season long, whether at home or on the road.  While the rate certainly is worse in Arlington (11 HR), it’s not like the eight he has allowed on the road is a stellar number. 

He’s just allowing too many fly balls (51.9 percent), a number that isn’t even close to last year’s solid 44.9 percent.  If he can get that under control, the numbers will improve no matter where he is pitching.

Last season, he got the job done at home, with a 3.41 ERA (vs. a 3.95 on the road).  Another issue in 2011 is worse luck at home, with a 67.3 percent strand rate.  Plus, for some reason he simply isn’t registering strikeouts (5.45 K/9 vs. an 8.89 K/9 on the road). 

Is there any real reason that he’s not striking people out at home?

He’s been pitching better lately, allowing two ER over 13.2 IP in his past two starts, including one at home.  That certainly is a good sign and, if he’s healthy (he is battling a neck issue), he should certainly be active for his next outing, which comes on the road against the Astros. 

It’s worth monitoring, but I would certainly expect him to improve on his numbers at home before long making him usable regardless of where he is pitching.

What are your thoughts of these three pitchers?  Would you play the home/road split with any of them?  Why or why not?

Make sure to check out these other great articles from Rotoprofessor:


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Would David Wright and Jose Reyes be Included in a New York Mets "Fire Sale?"

If there’s one thing you can say about the New York Mets, it’s that they’re consistent.

Consistently bad that is.

After a 5-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies last night at Citi Field, the Mets fell to 4-7 and have just one win in their last seven games. Their 3-1 start to the season seems like a distant memory right now.

And there’s no shortage of problems.

Their starting rotation, without Johan Santana, has produced just four wins in 11 starts this season. R.A. Dickey and Chris Young are both tied for the team lead with one win apiece. Mike Pelfrey, the team’s No. 1 starter by default, sports an ugly 10.80 ERA in three starts.

Jon Niese has pitched well at times, but is this year’s version of Oliver Perez. He’s been able to shut down opposing teams with an excellent curveball, but just cannot avoid the big inning. In last night’s start, Niese served up a three-run homer to Troy Tulowitzki to put the Rockies ahead 4-3.

Throw in Chris Capuano and his 6.75 ERA and the Mets are 13th in the NL in starter’s ERA (5.59).

A shaky bullpen doesn’t help either. Despite averaging more than five runs per game, the Mets have been unable to get ahead and stay ahead in games. Their bullpen is 15th in the NL in ERA (4.83), 14th in BAA (.309), 15th in runs allowed (24) and leads the league with 21 walks. Closer Francisco Rodriguez already has three blown saves this season.

At this rate, the Mets won’t have to worry about K-Rod’s option vesting (he gets $17.5 million if he finishes 55 games this season) because he’s not going to get any chances to pitch with a lead.

Things are getting out of hand, if they haven’t already.

And as the team inches closer and closer to irrelevance, and the trade deadline, just how many players could become available?

It’s no secret that the Mets have some serious financial problems. The lawsuit stemming from their involvement with convicted swindler Bernie Madoff isn’t anywhere near finished and the Mets are on the hook for more than $1 billion.

Team owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon, as well as team president Saul Katz, are trying to sell a minority stake in the team but many insiders believer they’ll have to sell the whole team to get out of this mess.

General manager Sandy Alderson has come out and stated publicly that the team’s payroll is “significantly” higher then he’d like. He claims it’s because he wants “flexibility”, but the issue of having to pay players is also a big reason. The Mets have already received a $25 million loan from MLB commissioner Bud Selig, and were denied a second (though Selig denies they asked a second time).

So if they’re not winning on the field, and they can’t take on big contracts, or write them, the Mets have some serious issues to face.

Two players, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, are both entering the final years of their contracts. Beltran has moved from centerfield to right field in order to spare his surgically repaired knee and manager Terry Collins has held him out of the lineup in day games after night games.

Reyes is trying to show that he’s 100 percent healthy for the first time in two seasons. Watching him so far, Reyes definitely seems like he’s ready to have a big season. The only question is how much of that season will be with the Mets.

Reyes is batting .327, with a team-high 17 hits. He’s not getting on base enough though, with just one walk in 52 at-bats this season and a .340 OBP. But his legs are finally healthy and he’s been able to leg out two triples this season.

But therein lies the problem for the Mets. The healthier Reyes is, the more he’s going to cost. If Reyes has a big season, he’s easily a $100 million player and teams will be lining up this offseason to sign him unless the Mets can get a deal done mid-season.

Reyes has said he’s willing to negotiate, but wont do so until mid-season. Unfortunately, he might have to give the Mets a big discount to stay in New York.

Mid-season trades for Beltran and Reyes are not only possible, they’re likely.

But who else could become available?

Pelfrey has had success with the Mets, but this season has been a disaster for him. Last season, Pelfrey set career highs in innings (204) and wins (15), as well as a carreer-best 3.66 ERA.

The Mets signed Pelfrey to a one-year, $4 million contract this offseason, avoiding arbitration. But Pelfrey is not a No.1 pitcher. Normally a contact pitcher, Pelfrey has been unable to keep the ball on the ground and doesn’t have the stuff to get strikeouts.

Next year’s free agent class is severely lacking in the starting pitching department. Mark Buehrle and C.J. Wilson are the best two pitchers available, but the White Sox are widely expected to re-sign Buehrle this season.

If the Mets were to make Pelfrey available, teams would be lining up around the block. It’s difficult to trade young starting pitchers, but the Mets don’t have much reason to hold onto him either. Not to mention his agent is Scott Boras, so who knows how much Pelfrey will cost to resign even if they want to.

Packaging Pelfrey with an aging Beltran wouldn’t be a bad idea, considering Beltran alone might not fetch much from interested teams.

K-Rod is also a player to pay attention to at the trade deadline. If it doesn’t seem K-Rod will reach the 55 games finished mark at mid-season, a team in need of a closer (like the White Sox) could decide to take on his contract, as long as there’s no risk that his option will vest.

Despite his struggles with the Mets, K-Rod is still an effective closer, just maybe not with the Mets. Bobby Parnell would appear the heir-apparent, but he hasn’t shown the ability to handle his eighth inning duties, never mind the ninth.

Alderson has said that the Mets don’t have any untouchable players, though they most likely wouldn’t be trading David Wright or Ike Davis.

But there’s a few things to consider here. First of all, the Mets haven’t won anything with Wright. Despite having a solid core of players on paper, the Mets have collected just one division title and fell just one win short of the World Series, in the time Wright has played the hot corner.

Is it possible that the Mets just can’t win with him? It’s unfair to single Wright out, since he’s easily the Mets best offensive player almost every season, but he’s struggled in clutch situations and his strikeout rates have been steadily increasing.

Over the last three seasons, Wright is batting just .269 with runners in scoring position and just .228 with runners in scoring position and two out. His strikeout rate increased from 18.8 percent in 2008 to 26.2 percent in 2009. Last season, that rate jumped up again to 27.4 percent.

Despite those struggles, Wright has driven in 100 runs or more in five of the last six seasons. He’ll hit 25 home runs and he’ll steal 20 bases, but how many more reasons can the Mets think of to hold onto him?

The players the Mets would most logically trade would bring in solid prospects, but no one would bring in more than Wright. He’s under contract through the 2012 season and the Mets hold a $16 million option for 2013.

A five-time All-Star with power, speed and Gold Glove-caliber defense would have teams offering up their best prospects. Yes, it’s hard to trade your best player which would send fans everywhere running for the hills.

But does it seem like the Mets will be able to surround Wright with enough support to win anything significant (a division title) within the next two years? None of their prospects have looked good in limited time in the majors, and unless the Mets reverse their policy of not spending over slot on draft picks, there isn’t anything better coming down the pipe.

As Alderson said, it’s unlikely the Mets would trade Wright. But should they listen to offers? Absolutely.

The Mets play a double-header today to finish their series with the Rockies before heading to Atlanta for three with the Braves. Who knows? By the end of the day the Mets could be 6-7 and things might not be so bad.

But if they continue to struggle and find themselves in the basement at the trade deadline, there shouldn’t be any untouchable player or a name left off the “available” list. The Mets are a franchise in transition. An uncertain present and an even more uncertain future will make life tough.

And drastic times call for drastic measures.

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New York Mets: Will the Real Mike Pelfrey Please Stand Up?

Last season, the Mets were supposed to be strong offensively and weak in the starting pitching department.

It was the opposite.

This season, the Mets are firing on all cylinders and sit at 3-2 without playing a home game. For a team that went 32-49 on the road last season, they’re off to a good start.

Jose Reyes is 100 percent for the first time in two seasons, batting .280 with two stolen bases in as many tries. They getting excellent production out of David Wright (.364/.417/.545, one HR and five RBI), Ike Davis (.368/.455/.684, one home run and six RBI) and even Willie Harris (.357/.438/.714, one home run and four RBI).

Even Jon Niese, in his second full season in the majors, and R.A. Dickey, looking to prove 2010 wasn’t a fluke, were fantastic in each of their first starts of the season against the Florida Marlins.

Chris Young made his Mets debut on Tuesday night, giving up just one earned run over 5.1 innings against the Philadelphia Phillies (he also went 3-for-3 with an RBI at the plate), giving Mets fans hope that the “high reward” might be even better than they dared to dream.

And after watching the Mets come back from seven runs down against the Phillies last night to tie the game, which they eventually lost 10-7, it’s safe to say the 2011 Mets are different than the 2010 version.

But it’s still only five games and there’s a lot of baseball to play. And so far, Mike Pelfrey, the Mets’ de facto “ace” isn’t showing signs he’s capable of handling the job of a No. 1 starter.

Last night against the Phillies, Pelfrey couldn’t throw strikes, couldn’t keep the ball on the ground and couldn’t keep the Phillies off the board, allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits over just two innings of work.

Through two starts this season, Pelfrey has a 15.63 ERA and a ridiculous 2.68 WHIP. He’s given up 12 hits in just 6.1 innings this season.

With Johan Santana on the DL until at least early July, Pelfrey has a big load to shoulder. He has to show the Mets he can be a No. 1 starter without having No. 1 stuff.

For the last few seasons, Pelfrey’s numbers have been all over the place. A sinkerball pitcher by trade, his ground-ball rates have been steadily declining, from 51.3 percent in 2009 to 47.8 percent last season. This season it’s all the way down to 46.4 percent.

With guys like Reyes, Wright and Davis on the infield, and Harris, Angel Pagan and Carlos Beltran in the outfield, the Mets defense is just too good for Pelfrey to sustain a .370 BABIP all season. But he’s not throwing strikes (43.2 percent of pitches for strikes, 67.6 percent on the first pitch) and hitters aren’t being fooled by his stuff out of the zone.

Basically, Pelfrey is a ground-ball pitcher who can’t get ground balls and doesn’t have the stuff to get strikeouts (career 5.10 K/9 rate).

So what are the Mets going to do with Pelfrey?

They know he can pitch. Last season, Pelfrey was 10-2 with a 2.71 ERA over his first 16 starts. And though his ERA in July was an ugly 10.02, he still finished the season with a career-high 15 wins and a 3.66 ERA.

But Pelfrey hasn’t had anything in his first two starts and certainly doesn’t look like a front-of-the-rotation starter. And though it’s only been two starts each, Dickey and Niese are looking like better pitchers.

Quite frankly, they are.

For now though, Mets manager Terry Collins has to go forward with Pelfrey. Hopefully, Pelfrey is getting his midseason struggles out in April instead of July this season, and he’ll straighten himself out. But his early struggles might just be the culmination of a career that’s been on the downturn for two seasons now.

It will be interesting to see if Collins plays with his starting rotation if Pelfrey keeps this up.

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