Success stinks sometimes. Not exactly for the person who garners the success, but maybe sometimes for his employer. This probably doesn’t happen at the accounting firm, but it is coming to a head for the Minnesota Twins and Mike Pelfrey.
He started five games for the Twins last season and then was out with injury for the rest of the campaign. With a lot of injuries: elbow, groin, shoulder and some emotional battery, too, probably. In his five starts in 2014, he never went more than 5.1 innings in an outing.
That followed a career-worst 2013, too. Pelfrey was out to sea and a lot of fans were clamoring for the Twins to let him drift out.
It’s 2015 now and Pelfrey is living the life. Let’s just start with the fact that his Alma matter, Wichita State, beat older brother Kansas over the weekend to advance to the Sweet 16. Now let’s go to the numbers that Pelfrey is putting up this spring.
As always, spring training numbers aren’t the end all, be all, but there are sure fun to look at.
Pelfrey has pitched in four games so far this spring amounting in 13.2 innings of work. His ERA currently stand at 1.32 for the spring. A pretty impressive feat considering it’s a whole lot easier to have an astronomical ERA than a low ERA with a limited amount of innings.
His ERA stood at 1.00 before Monday’s game. On Monday, Pelfrey went 4.2 innings only giving up one-earned run on seven hits. Not the most beautiful line in the world, but for spring training and a short stint, not too shabby. Here’s the issue: Pelfrey shouldn’t be the fifth starter for the Twins, but he’s done more than enough to grab the spot.
Pelfrey is only 31-years-old, but he doesn’t appear, and shouldn’t be, in the Twins future plans. Trevor May is in those plans and there’s an argument, maybe not a solid argument, to be had that maybe Tommy Milone should be.
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May has a 1.50 ERA in six innings over two games for the Twins this spring. Milone has a 4.00 ERA in nine innings over three games. All three have looked, at a minimum, decent this spring.
This season is all about rebuilding again for the Minnesota Twins, any chance of competing or any inkling of it is just an extra bonus. With that rebuilding thought in mind, the Twins need to season the young arms and the people that are in the long-term future for the Twins. Just like Josmil Pinto needs to be the backup catcher now and the catcher of the future, the fifth starter should be a guy under 30 for a team that is still a year away.
Preferably the 25-year-old May, but beggars can’t be choosers.
There’s a spot for Pelfrey on this team, but it’s not in the rotation. Pelfrey has the makeup to be a decent bullpen arm and I’d welcome him to the bullpen with open arms, but the starting rotation needs to win the Twins some ballgames this year and beyond.
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