Mets brass will closely monitor 2005 first-round pick Mike Pelfrey when he takes the mound tonight at Double-A Binghamton. While team officials don't want to rush Pelfrey, an insider suggested team brass will seriously consider promoting him if he has a positive outing.
NY Daily News wrote:The Mets may be hesitant to bring up Mike Pelfrey, the jewel of their farm system, but the 22-year-old righthander may force their hand after another impressive outing for Double-A Binghamton last night.
Overpowering at times and poised beyond his years, Pelfrey struck out six of the first 11 batters he faced along the way to a 10-strikeout night in a no-decision against the Connecticut Defenders. He allowed seven hits and two earned runs over seven innings with two walks - one intentional - and one hit batsman in an 8-3 B-Mets win.
With Victor Zambrano out for the season, and rookies Brian Bannister and John Maine on the disabled list, a move to Queens may be in Pelfrey's near future, even though the Mets say they don't want to rush their phenom. "That's not up to me," Pelfrey said after his outing last night.
What was most impressive, and a good indication of his maturity as a pitcher, was Pelfrey's command of the strike zone and poise late in the game, when he escaped a seventh-inning jam with minimal damage. Mixing an effortless fastball that touched 95 mph frequently - and topped out at 96 - with an effective changeup, Pelfrey threw 89 pitches and consistently was able to stay ahead in counts.
"I'd give myself a B," he said. "I made a few mistakes, left a few pitches over the middle of the plate, and my breaking ball ... sometimes it was there, sometimes it wasn't. But I showed (the Mets) some stuff tonight. I located some good fastballs and breaking balls. You could see flashes of what I can do."
Mets director of minor league operations Adam Wogan was in the building to see those flashes for himself. He wouldn't say if there was anything in the works to move Pelfrey to Triple-A, or Shea. Wogan did praise Pelfrey for his command and confidence in pitching inside.
"We just want to prepare him for right now (in Double-A). That is the focus," Wogan said.
Does Pelfrey think he's ready for the majors?
"You ask anybody in this clubhouse, they're not going to tell you they wouldn't want to be in the big leagues," Pelfrey said, grinning. "I'd be lying if I told you I didn't."
The 6-7 pitcher out of Wichita State, who received a Mets-record $3.55 million signing bonus to go along with a four-year, $5.25 million contract in January, was making his third start since being promoted to Binghamton, and his first at home. He impressed in his first start, holding the Erie Seawolves scoreless over 5-2/3 innings, giving up just three hits while striking out nine.
But he struggled in his next outing in Akron, surrendering 13 hits and five earned runs in just five innings. He turned that around last night. "This is what we saw in his first start in Erie," said B-Mets pitching coach Mark Brewer. "This is what he's capable of."
Brewer says Pelfrey needs to continue to work batters inside and throw more changeups, but that all of his pitches (fastball, curve, changeup) are major-league ready and his fluid delivery is nearly flawless.
Laying on the hyperbole, Brewer said Pelfrey "resembles a Don Drysdale or a righthanded Randy Johnson with better command. He has power and the demeanor of a three-to-four year veteran and the aptitude to match."