Now that there is enough hindsight behind us, it’s clear that New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson made the right call when he decided not to non-tender pitcher Mike Pelfrey. While Pelfrey has struggled this season with the Minnesota Twins, the Mets’ rotation has thrived and become a big strength of the team.
Despite missing most of the 2012 season because of Tommy John surgery, there were plenty of reasons why the Mets had to strongly consider bringing Pelfrey back in 2013. There were health concerns about both Johan Santana, who has not pitched at all this season, and Dillon Gee, who missed the second half of the 2012 season but has bounced back well in 2013. With questions about the health of those two pitchers, bringing Pelfrey back, despite coming off an injury as well, would have been an understandable move in order to give the Mets depth in their rotation.
The fact that Pelfrey was off to a great start to begin the 2012 season, putting up an ERA of 2.29 over his first three starts, made it harder for the Mets to not bring him back this season. Credit should go to Alderson for not being fooled by a few good starts and electing to save some money by not tendering Pelfrey a contract.
The proof is in the pudding, as Pelfrey is having the worst season of his MLB career. He has a record of 4-10 and an ERA of 5.26, which is his highest since 2007. There’s no doubt that if he were a member of the Mets’ rotation this season he would have been the weakest link.
There is always the chance that Pelfrey will be able to turn things around after he has more time to recover from his surgery. However, based on what he’s done this year, the Mets were right to move on from him and they’re better because of it.