Mike Pelfrey, everyone's favorite ball dropping, hand-licking pitcher is another year older and wiser. It's the first time since 2005, back when he was a junior at Wichita State, that Big Pelf won't be celebrating as a member of the New York Mets. Drafted ninth overall that June, Pelfrey never developed into the frontline starter many projected the 6' 7" sinkerballer would become. Still, he provided the Mets with roughly commensurate production for his slot. According to Baseball Reference, players taken with the number nine pick have averaged 7.8 wins above replacement for their careers. Pelf's already more than halfway here, having amassed 4.5 WAR over the course of 149 starts. Assuming he makes a full recovery from Tommy John surgery, he should be able to surpass that benchmark.
As for where Pelfrey stands in Mets history, he's 15th on the all-time victories register with 50. Pitching WAR is a bit less friendly to him. He's ranked 30th on that list (25th among starting pitchers), three-tenths of a win behind Gary Gentry. Pelf does own a share of one Mets record, though: Facing the San Francisco Giants on May 17, 2009, he got called for three balks in six innings, which tied the club mark for most in a game.
- Ross Jones is 53. The infielder came to the plate just 13 times for the Mets, picking up a one hit and one RBI. Jones's lone safety was timely, though. It came with one out in the bottom of the ninth and plated Hubie Brooks for a 4-3 walk-off win against the Phillies on April 28, 1984.
- Outfielder Dave Marshall is a septuagenarian as of today. Used mostly as a pinch hitter, Marshall batted .243/.323/.363 across three seasons and 559 at-bats as a Met. His best year was 1972, in which he posted an OPS+ of 104, perhaps due to the rigorous spring training workout regimen outlined in this article.
The Mets made arguably their best Japanese signing on this date in 1998, inking Masato Yoshii of the Yakult Swallows. The right-hander went 18-16 in 58 regular season starts for New York, and also got the nod in opener of the 1999 NLCS against the Diamondbacks. The first Met to take the mound for a playoffs game in eleven years, Yoshii kept things close enough (4 ER over 5.1 IP) but took a no-decision.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
Happy birthday to Bay Shore's own James Todd Smith! The Cool rapper/actor/Mets fan that Ladies Love turns 45. Here you can find a picture of the birthday boy posing with his booming system and rocking some fresh mid-'80s orange and blue gear.