After a winter filled with nothing but bad news and futility-filled expectations, the New York Mets were actually playing good baseball for the first few weeks of the regular season and currently sit in the middle of the NL East standings. But just a month into the season they already find themselves without a handful of players, including one of the pitchers who’s long been expected to lead the team’s starting rotation.
Mike Pelfrey has never been able to develop into the pitcher that the Mets believed he could be when they initially drafted him. He’s had his ups and downs, like any other pitcher, but has largely been inconsistent over the course of his career.
In 2011 he posted a 7-13 record with a 4.74 ERA over 34 appearances (33 starts). He continued to walk too many batters while not posting the strikeout numbers once expected of him. There was much discussion in the offseason that the Mets may simply non-tender him at the December deadline, rather than risk another season of disappointing performances. They elected to keep Pelfrey, believing that maybe he’d turn things around this season.
Through 3 starts he had looked better this season, posting a 2.29 ERA and no record over 19.2 innings. He felt some pain during his last outing and after a series of tests, will undergo Tommy John ligament replacement surgery. He’ll be out for the remainder of the 2012 season and his career with the Mets is likely over as there have already been reports that the team will non-tender him this winter.
Pelfrey has made 19 starts in his career against the Nationals, posting a 4-7 record with a 4.06 ERA. Nationals’ batters hit .271/.350/.396 against him during that span in 503 plate appearances. While the Mets will miss him in their rotation, barring an unforseen superior showing by one of the team’s prospects that may ultimately replace him, the Nationals will likely miss having Pelfrey to push around when the two teams meet again this season.