I just took a look, and he is penciled in as the Twins #2 starting pitcher. Now let me concede three things up front.
On the homer scale I'm at one extreme. If our guys are OK guys, I want to keep our guys, cheer for our guys, and give them a year too many to make it, rather than a year too few. Two words. Nolan Ryan.
And I concede that when the decision was made on Pelfrey, Alderson did not know how well his elbow would heal, how poorly Santana's shoulder would recover, and how much unspent money would be going to waste because the Mets missed out on outfielders.
And if the end of the steroid era means we have to recalibrate what a good hitter is, it also means we have to recalibrate what a good pitcher is. And by that measure, Pelfrey is a 4th or 5th starter on a good team, not a #1 or #2 as might have been hoped when he was drafted.
But I get the feeling a lot of people discounted the value of mediocre innings, which Pelfrey provided in the past and could have provided again.
Gee is coming back from injury. Niese has run out of gas and been injured in the past. Harvey will be extended through a season for the first time. Lightning struck twice for the Mets, with decent production out of Capuano and Young, but now they need, NEED! for lightning to strike a third time with Marcum. Wheeler's innings will be limited this year.
As I hear the ball fly out of the park against Hefner, our current #4 starter, in the last pre-season game I can't help but ask. Would you rather have had an average pre-injury year from Pelfrey, or whatever we are going to get from Hefner, Laffey, McHugh and whoever else will be making lots of starts this year? (And boy, have we had some scrap heapers making starts for this team in recent years, even in the 2006 to 2008 period). It isn't as if Pelfrey would have received $20 million in arbitration.