Did new delivery cause Mike Pelfrey’s injury?

On the field yesterday was a pretty good day for Mets fans. We got to see Jose Reyes return to Citi Field, saw a great pitching match-up with Josh Johnson and Johan Santana, saw Reyes go 0-4, and most importantly the Mets got a win. It was a very exciting and well played game, a classic pitchers dual.

Off the field the Mets had some problems. It’s seems the injury bug is back at Citi Field and it has claimed its first two victims. The first was Jason Bay who was placed on the 15-day DL with a fractured rib. He suffered the injury in the second game of the doubleheader against the Giants on Monday when he tried to catch a fly ball and dove or fell or tripped or whatever he didn’t to make him look like an idiot. In any event he dropped the ball and since he doesn’t know how to hit a baseball the Mets would take any excuse to put him on the DL, fractured rib or not.

The other injury is more upsetting. It was suffered by Mike Pelfrey, who was off to a great start in 2012. In three starts this year he’s gone 19.2 innings,  13 strikeouts, four walks, and an ERA of 2.29. He was placed on the DL with soreness and swelling in his elbow. Adam Rubin than reported that he has a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, and could need season-ending surgery.

The injury comes at a bad time because for the first time in a while Pelfrey actually looked like the pitcher everyone hoped he would be. Everything was clicking and the idea of him Santana, R.A. Dickey, and Jon Niese together in the rotation got Mets fans very excited. If all of them could produce up to their potential, it could be one of the best rotation in the NL, and it was looking like that was the case.

I have to wonder if Pelfrey’s new delivery motion had anything to do with the injury. Pelfrey was now rising his arms over his head before he pitched, which was giving him more downward power. It may have just been too much power, causing extra stress on the elbow, which led to the ligament tear.

The injury reminds me a lot of Chris Young last year. He got off to such a great start and then an injury ended his season. This time however, Young could be the guy coming back to replace the injured pitcher. He still needs more time to get ready though, after missing all of Spring Training. He did recently pitch a 60-pitch bullpen session, but it will be at least another month before Young is ready to come up to the majors.

While Young seems like the obvious choice to replace Pelfrey’s spot, the team needs to find a filler until he is ready. The Mets called up Robert Carson, who in previous years has been a starter, this year has been pitching out of the bullpen at Binghamton.

Pelfrey’s next start would have been Friday, so the Mets need to make a decision of who will take his spot until then. On the roster right now it’s looking like it will either be Carson or automatic-game-forfeiter Miguel Batista. They could also go in the more likely path of calling up Chris Schwinden, which would be the better option. Schwinden made four starts for the Mets last year, who had a rough first start, but then threw some three solid starts for the Mets.

Hopefully Pelfrey’s injury isn’t as serious as it seems, but it doesn’t look that way. Right now in my mind I’m figuring his season is done. This does open the door for Young to come back with he is healthy, and we all know how good he can pitch. In any event, this is bad news for the Mets and Pelfrey, who finally looked like he had found his groove.

3 comments for “Did new delivery cause Mike Pelfrey’s injury?

  1. April 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    That’s a pretty good way to describe Batista these days…

  2. Metsense
    April 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Schwinden should have been on the roster instead of Batista leaving spring training. Now Chris will get his chance and he better cash in because with all the young arms coming up in the future, Niese and Santana locked up next year and Dickey talks of extension, there may not be many more opportunities for Chris. As for Batista, I expect him gone when DJ comes off rehab because of the money they are paying DJ.

    • Brian Joura
      April 26, 2012 at 8:06 am

      We’ll truly know that this is our year if a rotation depth guy like Schwinden comes up and pitches lights out, a la Kyle Kendrick and J.A. Happ.

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