Mike Pelfrey

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Michael Alan Pelfrey
(Big Pelf)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Mike Pelfrey was drafted by the New York Mets in the 1st round of the 2005 amateur draft. Considered by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 1st overall pick, he slid to the Mets at #9 due to signability concerns. Scouted by Larry Chase, he eventually signed for a $3.55 million bonus and made his pro debut the next summer.

Pelfrey was the starting pitcher for the New York Mets when they inaugurated their new ballpark, Citi Field, on April 13, 2009. He gave up a home run to leadoff hitter Jody Gerut, one of 5 runs in 5 innings of work but did not figure in the decision as the San Diego Padres beat the Mets, 6-5. On May 17th, Pelfrey balked 3 times in a 2-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants, becoming the first pitcher in 15 years to commit three balks in a game; Al Leiter had done it last.

In 2011, Pelfrey went 7-13, 4.74 in 34 starts for the Mets. It was his fourth consecutive season of pitching around 200 innings in 30+ starts, with between 209 and 220 hits allowed each year and strikeouts varying form 105 to 113. While the counting numbers were similar, his ERAs varied wildly over that period, from 3.72 to 5.03 to 3.6 to 4.74. He had been 15-9 in 2010, before falling to 6 games below .500. Still, overall the Mets were quite satisfied with his durability and performance and counted on him to be a pillar of their starting rotation in 2012. he started off well, with no decisions but a 2.29 ERA in his first three starts then went on the disabled list with discomfort in his elbow in late April. This was actually an understatement, as a tear in a ligament was soon diagnosed, leading to Tommy John surgery on May 1st and a premature end to his season.

Pelfrey returned to action at the start of the 2013 season, by which time he had become a member of the Minnesota Twins after signing with them as a free agent in the off-season. He made his first start with his new team on April 4th and picked up his first win since 2011 in defeating the Detroit Tigers, 8-2. He gave up two runs - neither of them earned - in 5 1/3 innings of work. However, it was a very disappointing year overall, as he ended up with a record of 5-13, 5.19 in 29 starts, pitching 152 2/3 innings. He was then limited to 5 starts in 2014, during which he went 0-3 then underwent season-ending elbow surgery on June 10th. But he made it back to the Twins at the start of 2015 and after no-decisions in his first two starts, he gave the team some hope with a solid performance on April 22nd, as he pitched 7 scoreless against the Kansas City Royals and received credit for a 3-0 win. However, his season was disappointing overall, with a record of 6-11, 4.26 in 30 starts as the Twins fell short in a bid for a wild card slot. He became a free agent after the season and signed on with the Detroit Tigers, inking a two-year dal worth $16 million. The fact that a pitcher with his lack of recent success could get such a large deal said a lot about the lack of quality pitching on the market that winter.

Pelfrey's first season with Detroit in 2016 did not go well. In 24 games - 22 starts - he was 4-10 with a 5.07 ERA and 119 innings pitched. After failing to show much improvement during spring training in 2017, the Tigers released him on March 30th, swallowing the $8 million remaining on his contract. He then signed with the Chicago White Sox and didn't fare much better by going 3-12 with a 5.93 ERA in 120 innings pitched before retiring after the season.

Pelfrey became a volunteer assistant coach at Newman University in 2018.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (2010)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 2 (2008 & 2010)

Related Sites[edit]