Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pelfrey Out, Sosa In?

With today's 11-5 drubbing at the hand of the weak-hitting Colorado Rockies (50% fewer home runs than Alex Rodriguez!), Omar Minaya must be tiring of the Mike Pelfrey experience. Pelfrey made the team despite getting lit up by the Devil Rays in his last Grapefruit League start (10 hits and 8 runs in 4 IP). Omar should have been on notice that Pelfrey wasn't fooling anyone, as he only struck out 5 in 23 spring innings.

Pelfrey has now failed to finish the sixth inning in any of his three starts, has walked more batters than he's struck out, and is sporting an awful ERA - 790 The Zone is the official radio station of the Atlanta Thrashers, not what you want out of your fifth starter. After a one year hiatus, the Mets find themselves again looking up at the Braves in the NL East standings, so it's time to make a move. The question is: Who takes Pelfrey's place?

A look at the Mets' 40-man roster gives us some candidates. Chan Ho Park, Phil Humber, Adam Bostick and Jason Vargas are all in the rotation at AAA New Orleans. Park is definitely not getting the call; he's performed as poorly as Pelfrey, but against minor leaguers. Humber's talent is undeniable. Baseball Prospectus ranked him the #26 prospect in all the land. He's posted a round 3.00 ERA in four starts, but I don't think Omar wants to go with another prospect to replace Pelfrey. Bostick isn't turning any heads except his own. He's allowed 3 home runs and 10 walks in only 16 innings. Vargas has pitched much better than that, with a 19:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a solid 3.42 ERA. He would be the obvious choice except for the sleeper: Jorge Sosa.

Sosa's line in four AAA starts this year? In 26 innings, 24 strikouts and only 4 walks. He's allowed but one home run, 23 hits and only 6 runs (4 earned, for an ERA of 1.38). The same day Minaya signed free agent Scott Schoeneweis and avoided arbitration with Endy Chavez and Ramon Castro, he inked Sosa to a one-year $1.25 million contract. On March 29th, the Mets outrighted Sosa to New Orleans, which means he cleared waivers and fell off the 40-man roster, but he's still making his major-league salary.

My hunch is that Chan Ho Park will be designated for assignment in the next few days, clearing out a roster spot for Sosa, who will make his Mets debut next week against Florida or Arizona.

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