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View Full Version : Article: Will Mike Pelfrey be ready by opening day?



Parker Hageman
02-15-2013, 08:09 AM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=1377-Will-Mike-Pelfrey-be-ready-by-opening-day

crarko
02-15-2013, 08:17 AM
As I recall Baker had other arm trouble which was the original cause of the surgery, and the TJ decision came during that procedure. So he's probably a more complicated case than Pelfry.

Parker Hageman
02-15-2013, 08:22 AM
All of Baker's original injuries were UCL related and he had it replaced. Obviously each individual is different but the interesting part will be to see how the slow-and-steady approach compares to Pelfrey's.

fairweather
02-15-2013, 08:55 AM
I find it inconsequential if Pelfrey ever throws a pitch for the Twins. He's terrible and every time I watch him pitch all I will be able to think about is all the decent SP that the Twins could have had if they were willing to spend just slightly more money.

mike wants wins
02-15-2013, 08:59 AM
So, you are asking if I should trust the Twins' medical staff, or a different medical staff? It would be great if he could pitch, less time watching AAA-AAAA pitchers pitch, the better.

Parker Hageman
02-15-2013, 10:01 AM
So, you are asking if I should trust the Twins' medical staff, or a different medical staff?

It's not medical staff that it in question. I'm just trying to temper expectations of when Pelfrey will be a contributor. Based on past TJ cases, 12 months is the time pitchers general return.

The Cubs appear more open & accepting of the reality that it will be at least 12 months for Baker (possibly more). The Twins are - at least publicly - believing that Pelfrey will have accelerated his recovery time by one month (which is possible, I suppose). But they have been burned by that in the very recent past (Nathan). Behind closed doors, they may be making moves (like signing Perez) that suggests they are not 100% confident in his ability to contribute right away (or they simply could be adding pitching depth).

jokin
02-16-2013, 12:57 AM
Behind closed doors, they may be making moves (like signing Perez) that suggests they are not 100% confident in his ability to contribute right away (or they simply could be adding pitching depth).

Bringing in Perez as potentially a SP replacement smacks of desperation. This makes the 1-year contract to Pelfrey without a team option all the more curious.


Never say never but, if history has any indication, the likelihood of him pitching effectively in April appears low.

If not Pelfrey, who is left to start out in April without a question mark when camp breaks?

Kevin Correia. Our very own Ace Ventura, who unfortunately also has chiroptophobia (fear of bats).

Parker, I hope you can find more encouraging health news about the other acquisitions and Diamond. IE, Any news on Worley and his arm problems, yet?

Miraclemat
02-16-2013, 07:16 AM
It's not medical staff that it in question. I'm just trying to temper expectations of when Pelfrey will be a contributor. Based on past TJ cases, 12 months is the time pitchers general return.

The Cubs appear more open & accepting of the reality that it will be at least 12 months for Baker (possibly more). The Twins are - at least publicly - believing that Pelfrey will have accelerated his recovery time by one month (which is possible, I suppose). But they have been burned by that in the very recent past (Nathan). Behind closed doors, they may be making moves (like signing Perez) that suggests they are not 100% confident in his ability to contribute right away (or they simply could be adding pitching depth).

Pelfrey completely healthy would produce #3 starter numbers...maybe 4.5 ERA. 8-15 months after TJ and we can expect 5.5+ ERA at BEST. Not sure what Twins are thinking.....but he will not be viable option this season.

Brad Swanson
02-16-2013, 01:02 PM
Wait, "The Big Pelf?" How did he get a Gardy nickname before actually playing here? No wonder the Twins have been enamored with him for so long.

GCTF
02-16-2013, 05:59 PM
Wait, "The Big Pelf?" How did he get a Gardy nickname before actually playing here? No wonder the Twins have been enamored with him for so long.

Pelfreysie was a bit much, even for Gardy.

miller761
02-17-2013, 10:34 AM
As I recall Baker had other arm trouble which was the original cause of the surgery, and the TJ decision came during that procedure. So he's probably a more complicated case than Pelfry.

It will be interesting to compare the progress of the 2 pitchers. I question Baker's durability and ability to stay on the field and off the injury report. Pelfrey will be much better in that area. I like the Perez signing - if nothing else he can be a big contributor to the bullpen as a lefty specialist. He always seemed to get us out in those situations when he was an Indian.

drjim
02-17-2013, 06:59 PM
There already are reports out of Chicago that Baker will not be ready for opening day. Perhaps the Twins are being too optimistic with Pelfrey but that is an interesting contrast between the two.

TheLeviathan
02-17-2013, 07:07 PM
Rumors are that they are pushing Baker back out of caution, not because they have to.

drjim
02-17-2013, 07:18 PM
Rumors are that they are pushing Baker back out of caution, not because they have to.

That is probably a good thing for him in the long run. I like Pelfrey probably more than most but it does seem a little too quick.

Nick Nelson
02-18-2013, 01:12 AM
When the Twins signed Pelfrey I said I liked him on a one-year contract coming off TJ better than Baker, because his arm has shown much more strength and resilience over the course of his career. The fact that Pelf's timetable is apparently well ahead of Baker's – particularly considering he had the surgery a month later – would jibe with that. It's possible the Twins are being way too optimistic about Pelfrey but I've heard nothing to make me think their optimism is unfounded. As for Baker, if I were the Cubs I'd probably be taking it slow too. Guy's been fragile.

Miraclemat
02-18-2013, 07:04 AM
Only reason to be optomistic about Pelfrey is if you feel he will be MORE effective after the surgery than when he was previously healthy.....that won't happen. This is wasted $$$$. I personally don't care if the Twins waste their money.....unless they are avoiding other guys because they are "out of money."

Parker Hageman
02-18-2013, 10:18 AM
It's possible the Twins are being way too optimistic about Pelfrey but I've heard nothing to make me think their optimism is unfounded.

Nick -- we hashed this out a bit on Twitter a few days ago -- but to clarify, my position is not a question of who would return to better form quicker. Personally, for many of the reasons you cited previously, Pelfrey is a probably better bet to recovery fully and thus a better signing option on a one-year deal than Baker.

What I'm suggesting is that Pelfrey will not be effective if he pushes it for a April return. Studies have shown that tommy john takes 12-to-18 months to FULLY recover. Sure, pitchers have come back prior to that timeline but many have struggled (like Nathan) or did so in a limited capacity (like Hudson). The Cubs have already made plans to ease Baker into the rotation. Pelfrey seems to be pushing through.

Also, with Baker, his recent laundry list of arm ailments revolved around his UCL -- which was replaced. In this case, that makes citing his previous injuries almost irrelevant.

That said, as I type this, beat reporters are saying Pelfrey's live session was "impressive" and he "kept the ball down in the zone" (Rhett Bollinger & LaVelle Neal). Still, I'd rather the Twins hope for the best and plan for the worst.

CDog
02-18-2013, 10:59 AM
The fact that Pelf's timetable is apparently well ahead of Baker's – particularly considering he had the surgery a month later ...

It likely isn't significant in this case, but the dates I've seen are only two weeks apart for Baker and Pelfrey's surgeries (April 17 and May 1).

Kwak
02-18-2013, 11:44 AM
Still, I'd rather the Twins hope for the best and plan for the worst.

I think the Twins have plenty of contingency plans--"...plenty of arms...".--Ryan.
Consider all the the newly acquired pitchers, add those who spent some time last year on the Active Roster, and sprinkle in anybody else from Rochester and I conclude that Ryan indeed did "hope for the best, but [planned] for the worst." The "Plan" did not include winning 25 more games than 2012, it was "patch-over the present and develop for the future." It really doesn't matter if Pelfrey succeeds from April or June through the season, or succeeds at all in 2013. It's really about building a consistent winner for the future. Pelfrey (and others) are just placeholders until the fruition of "The Plan".

mike wants wins
02-18-2013, 11:50 AM
When beat writers or tv reporters say something other than PR work for the twins this spring, I will pay attention. Until then, I doubt I will believe anything they write. Call me cynical, but this spring is all PR from reporters so far.

nicksaviking
02-18-2013, 12:06 PM
Or perhaps the Pelfrey is saying the same optimistic things every athlete coming off major surgery says, "ahead of schedule" "no setbacks" "feeling great" "ready for opening day" and the Twins plan on letting him put his money where his mouth is, seeing as he's only on a one year deal. Gibson you baby, 2008 Liriano you baby, but a rental player? Obviously the Twins are willing to throw caution to the wind, they wrote this season off long ago. What does it really cost them if he has arm issues or is ineffective due to an early return? Had they insisted on an option year perhaps things would be different, but they didn't and they aren't.

Parker Hageman
02-18-2013, 01:15 PM
What does it really cost them if he has arm issues or is ineffective due to an early return?

Several wins and possibly some trade value.

But, overall, not much. It's a valid point.

Parker Hageman
02-18-2013, 01:17 PM
Here are some post-session quotes/items from Pelfrey today:

"Pelfrey added he's been more aggressive than others in coming back from TJ surgery but Dr. James Andrews has signed off on everything." -- @RhettBollinger (https://twitter.com/RhettBollinger/status/303581567379443713)

"I‘m going to be ready," Mike Pelfrey said. "I feel great. There’s not a doubt in my mind Opening Day I’m going to be on the team." -- @MikeBerardino (https://twitter.com/MikeBerardino/status/303580175604514817)

nicksaviking
02-18-2013, 01:45 PM
For how large Pelfrey is and his decent velocity, I think many of us are disappointed with his poor K numbers. As unlikely as it would seem, perhaps those numbers take a jump his first year back. Sure he's moving into the dreaded AL, but he has always had pretty decent control. Perhaps he will be somewhat effectively wild this year. Not to the extent of Liriano who was ineffectively wild, but perhpas a bit of location instability will cause batters to not be able to dig in against this already imposing mountain of a man.

birdwatcher
02-18-2013, 02:38 PM
Those Pelfrey quotes reported by Berardino and Bollinger? Nothing but Twins PR. Right, mike wants wins?

We're a handful of days into camp, for God's sake. There's no bad news to report! Hell, today is the first day of live batting practice, so yes, mike, I call you cynical, my brother.

drjim
02-18-2013, 03:59 PM
When beat writers or tv reporters say something other than PR work for the twins this spring, I will pay attention. Until then, I doubt I will believe anything they write. Call me cynical, but this spring is all PR from reporters so far.

You don't really understand the job of beat reporter do you?

snepp
02-18-2013, 04:08 PM
You don't really understand the job of beat reporter do you?

Are you suggesting that a beat reporter should be nothing more than an organizational shill?

ThePuck
02-18-2013, 04:13 PM
Are you suggesting that a beat reporter should be nothing more than an organizational shill?

A Beat Regurgitater? :-)

mike wants wins
02-18-2013, 04:24 PM
If their role is PR, why read it?

crarko
02-18-2013, 04:33 PM
http://thebeetreporter.blog.com/

The beet reporter...

Nick Nelson
02-18-2013, 04:35 PM
Are you suggesting that a beat reporter should be nothing more than an organizational shill?
Well, their job is to report what's happening and what people are saying, which they appear to have done. People can (and should) scrutinize the content of quotes but I think it's pretty harsh to imply that the reporters have something wrong by relaying them to their readers.

PseudoSABR
02-18-2013, 04:49 PM
Well, their job is to report what's happening and what people are saying, which they appear to have done. People can (and should) scrutinize the content of quotes but I think it's pretty harsh to imply that the reporters have something wrong by relaying them to their readers.
Generally, there's a distinction between a reporter and a columnist; isn't there?

IMO, the local media's credibility is easy to questions because the columinists aren't very good.

Nick Nelson
02-18-2013, 04:53 PM
Generally, there's a distinction between a reporter and a columnist; isn't there?

IMO, the local media's credibility is easy to questions because the columinists aren't very good.
Yes. A reporter's job is to objectively relay facts and quotes. The really good ones will maybe take an extra step to provide context or balancing viewpoints, but there are only so many really good ones out there. A columnist's job is to editorialize.

As for the latter part of your post... well, that's why sites like this exist :D

PseudoSABR
02-18-2013, 05:00 PM
Yes. A reporter's job is to objectively relay facts and quotes. The really good ones will maybe take an extra step to provide context or balancing viewpoints, but there are only so many really good ones out there. A columnist's job is to editorialize.

As for the latter part of your post... well, that's why sites like this exist :D
Right. I think it's fine take what you read from beat-reporters with a grain of salt, especially if the context is opaque, but to somehow equate that cynicism with a critique of the beat-reporter's job performance is poor form.

It should also be important to note that part of a reporter's job depends on their 'access,' so they're not going to want to jeopardize that by editorializing or even negatively framing what they might be reporting. Just saying.

ALessKosherScott
02-18-2013, 05:08 PM
It wouldn't surprise me if Pelfrey bounced back to 2010 form this year. Granted, the 2010 version of Pelfrey wasn't very good at throwing any pitch besides a fastball, so the time it will take to get comfortable with his breaking pitches and splitter will affect him less.

Good news? Bad news? Who knows.

drjim
02-18-2013, 05:47 PM
You guys ran with my point on the role of the beat writer. They report news and gather quotes, not offer constant opinions. They can provide some context in their stories but have to limit the editorizing.

If you don't like that I'm sure the papers will miss you. I can only imagine the amount of money that you invest in papers. They are a business, part of what they have to sell is interest in the team so people will buy papers and continue to follow the team. Doesn't mean they have to be lapdogs but constant negativity wouldn't be all that successful of a model.

Thrylos
02-18-2013, 05:59 PM
Based on recent reports from Fort Myers seems that Pelfrey will be ready. The magic words were said by Andy after his first bullpen: "The ball came out of his hand good" (sic); whereas Diamond will not be because he "did not like the way the ball came out of his hand".

I kinda followed Pelfrey's career for a while (mainly because I like to listen to Sports Radio and the one available here is WFAN 660 out of NYC) and I think that he is one of those guys who pitch better than his peripherals and also one of those guys who had a hard time performing in NY and never really reached his potential. Will be interesting to see what he can do with the Twins in a zero pressure situation. I think that it was a very good signing for the Twins.

Thrylos
02-18-2013, 06:05 PM
Yes. A reporter's job is to objectively relay facts and quotes. The really good ones will maybe take an extra step to provide context or balancing viewpoints, but there are only so many really good ones out there. A columnist's job is to editorialize.


But this requires pretty intimate knowledge of baseball :) Frankly, other than the 2 beat reporters in the biggest Twin Cities daily, the other beat reporters are either learning (and some of them in an admirably good pace - e.g the two of the 2 certain TV networks) or are thrown in even though they are football people and cannot tell a slider from a screwball (e.g. the two of a certain radio station.) Frankly, for these guys is a job and for the ones who are good, it does not end when they go home (like everyone who is good with their jobs no matter what that job is.)

John Bonnes
02-18-2013, 06:43 PM
An update from the newest beat reporter, Pi Press' Mike Beradino:


The smile on Mike Pelfrey's face said it all.


His words were pretty strong, too.


"I'm going to be ready," the veteran right-hander said Monday, Feb. 18, after facing hitters for the first time this spring. "I feel great. There's not a doubt in my mind. Opening Day, I'm going to be on the team."



www.twincities.com/sports/ci_22615042/minnesota-twins-mike-pelfrey-feels-good-after-first

Thrylos
02-18-2013, 06:58 PM
An update from the newest beat reporter, Pi Press' Mike Beradino:



www.twincities.com/sports/ci_22615042/minnesota-twins-mike-pelfrey-feels-good-after-first (http://www.twincities.com/sports/ci_22615042/minnesota-twins-mike-pelfrey-feels-good-after-first)

This is really interesting. And I am glad that it looks really good. This is really encouraging :)

On another note, just adding to what I said earlier about the baseball experience of most of the Twins' beat writers these days, here is this quote from the article:


His slider was a little rusty, but Pelfrey broke off a few curveballs and was able to keep his sinker and split-finger changeup down in the zone. .

Clearly, this must have been some sort of circulating rumor among the press, which contadicts the following image (also in the same article) of Pelfrey throwing BP today :


http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site569/2013/0218/20130218__twinsspringtraining_mikepelfrey.jpg

I'd love to hear more about Pelfrey's four-seamer (which is the pitch he is throwing in the picture, btw ;) )

mike wants wins
02-19-2013, 08:23 AM
When the Twins say Marquis throws strikes, and other factually incorrect things, and the beat guys repeat it like it is true.....are they doing their job? When St. Peter says payroll does not matter, and not one of them follows up and asks why they needed a new stadium, are they doing their job?

drjim
02-19-2013, 08:40 AM
When the Twins say Marquis throws strikes, and other factually incorrect things, and the beat guys repeat it like it is true.....are they doing their job? When St. Peter says payroll does not matter, and not one of them follows up and asks why they needed a new stadium, are they doing their job?

A good beat writer would report the first quote and then add accurate statistics or additional quotes to provide context without making editorial statements.

I'm pretty sure you made up the second quote. That is the opposite of what St. Peter would assert. Not sure what you want a beat reporter to do with that.

mike wants wins
02-19-2013, 08:51 AM
St. Peter just said it last week.....it is easily findable on 1500 am, for example.

drjim
02-19-2013, 09:05 AM
St. Peter just said it last week.....it is easily findable on 1500 am, for example.

I listened to it and don't remember it that way. What was the exact quote and question?

Nick Nelson
02-19-2013, 09:51 AM
When the Twins say Marquis throws strikes, and other factually incorrect things, and the beat guys repeat it like it is true.....are they doing their job?
It is factually incorrect that Marquis throws strikes? So you're saying he throws nothing but balls? Amazing he's been able to carve out a major-league career like that.

I know you're trying to make a point here but you're going to have to give concrete examples rather than referencing vague situations that aren't really evidence of anything.

USAFChief
02-19-2013, 09:57 AM
It is factually incorrect that Marquis throws strikes? So you're saying he throws nothing but balls? Amazing he's been able to carve out a major-league career like that.

I know you're trying to make a point here but you're going to have to give concrete examples rather than referencing vague situations that aren't really evidence of anything.
Seriously, Nick?

Nick Nelson
02-19-2013, 10:57 AM
Seriously, Nick?
Yes? I’d like to see an actual example of this supposedly irresponsible reporting. I remember being frustrated with the Twins’ stated reasoning for the Marquis signing; I don’t remember having a problem with the way those statements were presented by reporters. You can’t shoot the messenger because you don’t like what the source has to say. Again, it is not the job of a beat reporter to analyze and critique these things.

mike wants wins
02-19-2013, 10:59 AM
We are off topic. My original post was that the beat writers in this town report what the twins say as truth, regardless of its truth, so why should I read them. YMMV....read them if you wan. I really have no interest in debating that topic.

cmathewson
02-19-2013, 11:20 AM
The beat writers reported what they saw with their own eyes yesterday. They saw a guy who threw 90 pitches at full speed (mid 90s FB, high 70s change, no sliders). He's throwing 90 pitches every other day. His arm might fall off between now and the end of spring training. A meteor might land on his head before the end of spring. But as it sits right now, he has more strength and stamina of any pitcher in camp. There is no good reason to believe he will not be ready for starting duty on April 1.