Do Mets Have Answers to Big Spring Questions? A look at Jason Bay and Mike Pelfrey
Added by Eddie Utley on April 14, 2012.
Mike Pelfrey was a question mark heading into the season. The jury is still out on the big right-hander.
Big Pelf and Jason Bay were put on notice this spring. They were both in trouble of being jettisoned or losing significant playing time.
So let’s take a look at the first week of the season and see how they responded when the bell rang.
Jason Bay was looking pathetic at the plate until he hit a bomb off Phillies starter Cliff Lee. Bay thinks he has figured out his problem, which is timing. Hey Jason, this has been obvious to a lot of us for the past few years. His bat is just slower and he has to face it. He is no longer a good fastball hitter, he has a slider speed bat. This happened to Bernard Gilkey, Howard Johnson, and numerous other Mets and numerous other players as they got older. The problem here is that Bay isn’t in that “old” category yet.
This spring, Bay was talked to, or at least heard the whispers, that he might end up in a platoon if he’s still not producing a few weeks into the season. He’s lucky that the guy who would platoon with him got called up to replace the injured Andres Torres. Kirk Nieuwenheis is that guy, but they are stunting his development and making him platoon with Scott Hairston. It just boggles the mind why they even signed Hairston again, but, he’s here, so get used to it.
I don’t think Bay will make it to late May without being in a platoon. If he does, then he is the luckiest man on the planet because there is no way the Mets want that option vesting or he goes from 2-year headache to three. The problem with Bay is he’s likeable, he works hard and hustles, but he is just so hard to watch.
Mike Pelfrey was in a different situation where he could have been released since his contract is non-guaranteed. A non-guaranteed contract in baseball at almost $6M is unheard of. The Mets could have cut him and only paid about $1M.
After he was put on notice, Pelf started dominating and looking like he did in 2010. That year is why the Mets don’t want to give up on him. I have been a big fan of the Pelf since college, but with all the tinkering they do with him, it’s no wonder he’s confused and needs a sports shrink.
His first start this season was okay, not bad, not great, but he got the job done. We have to see if that translates and continues on through the season or if the bad Pelf sticks his head out.
With the way the Mets are phrasing things with David Wright, it looks like he’s on notice too. It seems like they’re trying to make him seem injury prone like they did with Reyes and Beltran. But more on that later as pinkygate is just starting.