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Pelfrey talks Verducci Effect with Verducci

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Mike Pelfrey was ready for [Verducci] in the Mets spring training clubhouse, as if he knew [Verducci] was coming. "Look at me," the Mets right-hander said one day last month. "I'm a pretty big guy." Yes, sir. Pelfrey is 6-foot-7. Thankfully, he is a rather pleasant, mild-mannered guy. Pelfrey knew that [Verducci] have been tracking such cases for about a decade, but wasn't buying the idea that he should be red-flagged for 2009. His size, for one, was in his favor, he said. "You've got a point," [Verducci] told him. After all, the dude is big. "[Verducci] believe the bigger your frame and the older you are -- guys near 25 are different from a guy who is 21 -- can be mitigating circumstances. They probably put you at less risk -- but still at risk." "I threw 140 innings at Wichita State -- in three months," Pelfrey said. "Good point," [Verducci] said. "That's still not 200." "The other thing is I bet I went through a lot more stress in 2007 than I did last year," Pelfrey said. "It seemed like I constantly had runners on in 2007, and I really worked to improve my efficiency. So I might have thrown more innings, but I didn't have all those innings with runners on base and high pitch counts." "[Verducci]'ll have to check that," [Verducci] said. Pelfrey was right, but only to a point. He reduced his pitches per inning from 17.7 to 16.6. That's good, but Pelfrey still wound up throwing about 600 more pitches in 2008 than he did in 2007 (minors and majors combined.) "Here's the thing," [Verducci] told him, "[Verducci] never meant this theory to be a one-size-fits-all thing. It was always a rule of thumb, and the idea came from organizations that didn't want to stretch pitchers by more than 25 or 30 innings from one year to the next." So [Verducci] agreed with some of what Pelfrey presented. He turned 25 in January and is a big guy, so maybe he withstands his 48-inning jump better than someone younger and smaller. That said, [Verducci]'s still not taking him off my list of the most at-risk young pitchers of 2009 based on the Year After Effect. [The rest of the article is good reading as well]