Originally posted on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 11/15/11

Yesterday afternoon, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com tweeted the following:

Scott Boras says he fully expects #Mets to tender Pelfrey a contract. In other words, expect Pelfrey back next year. about 23 hours ago via webReplyRetweetFavorite @AnthonyDiComo Anthony DiComo

Recently, I wrote a post — which you can read in full here — debating whether or not the Mets should tender Pelfrey a contract.  In case you missed it, below is my reasoning why I am in favor of a Pelfrey return:

Photo taken by Michael Baron

The 6’7″ starter is eligible for arbitration and would surely see an increase in his $3.925 million salary. According to MLB Trade Rumors his projected increase would be upwards of $6 million. I know what your thinking because I thought it too, that’s almost $1 million a win; there has to be a better bargain out there than that. Here’s the thing, while I totally agree with most fans in that Pelfrey has been one of the biggest disappointments as well as one of the most frustrating players to watch I do believe the Mets should bring him back for 2012.

The one thing Pelfrey has provided the Mets with over his tenure, besides finger-licking heartburn, is an ability to stay healthy while giving  the club a high number of innings pitched each season; which should not go overlooked.

Over the last four seasons Mike has made no less than 31 starts while tossing close to 200 frames in each; even eclipsing that number in 2008 and 2010:

Knowing that every fifth day you have a durable starter who can go out there and be an innings-eater  — the quality of those inning not withstanding — has, in itself, become valuable in Major League Baseball.  I used to take that for granted but have come to realize that it’s simply not something that is not easily replaceable.  In 2011, for example, less than 40 starters hit the 200 innings mark.  Mike almost hit that number and was one of 44 starters to make that same list in 2010.

I’m not saying Pelfrey was good in 2011, he was flat out disappointing, but there is still potential.  In four seasons as a starter Big Pelf has split the bill giving the Mets two seasons of a sub-4 ERA. Take away the pressure of being the clubs ‘ace’ — which he was dubbed in January of 2011 by Mets manager Terry Collins — and maybe, just maybe, he can return to that form:

Image by Michael G. Baron

The bottom line here is that Pelfrey may never become a front of the rotation starter as some envisioned, but at this point is his career I am o.k. with that.   Sometimes you have to look at a player for what he is, not what you wanted him to be, and decide from there if he is still an asset for your team.  In my mind Big Pelf can serve still as a key cog in the Mets 2012 rotation, it’s just a matter of the fanbase accepting as a whole that he won’t be leading it.  With the future of the staff resting on the shoulders of such youngsters as Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey, and Juerys Familia, keeping Pelf around for one more year just doesn’t seem like a bad investment.

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