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Pelfrey As Closer

Posted By Howard Megdal On August 22, 2011 @ 11:14 am In Today's Mets headlines | Comments Disabled

Look, Terry Collins has done a solid job keeping his players working hard. I don’t always love his bunting ideas (though he said Josh Thole’s sacrifice attempt yesterday was Thole’s idea), but he’s been a solid manager this year.
What I don’t think he does to great effect is figure out which of his pitchers should start and relieve, based on his recent discussion of Pedro Beato and Mike Pelfrey.
Beato was discussed in this space last week [1]. But a report this weekend had Collins approach Pelfrey [2] about becoming a closer.
This is not a great idea for a few reasons.
For one thing, Pelfrey doesn’t miss many bats, and walks ab average amount of hitters. There’s little reason to think that would change if he closed games, since it isn’t like he would cut down on an array of different pitches to focus on his best two. That’s essentially all he throws now.
And his durability, therefore, is easily his most marketable skill. Indeed, while Beato shows signs of wearing down as a reliever, Pelfrey is chugging toward about another 200 innings for the fourth straight year.
And it is that durability that will likely cost the Mets around six million dollars in arbitration for Pelfrey’s 2012 services. For 200 league average starter’s innings, that makes sense. For mediocre closing, it does not.
Put it this way: this is akin to asking Daniel Murphy to become a late-inning defensive replacement, Mr. Met to conduct a filibuster, or Josh Thole to lay down a late-game bunt.

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[1] in this space last week: http://mets.lohudblogs.com/2011/08/17/pedro-beato-non-starter/

[2] Collins approach Pelfrey: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/2011/08/21/2011-08-21_ra_dickey_again_gets_little_support_as_mets_fall_apart_late_in_62_loss_to_milwau.html

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