Is there anything more exciting than a Mike Pelfrey start these days? The big right-hander is 11-6 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.246 WHIP in the 21 starts since this column appeared. There's a reason why I don't get paid for what I do.
Pelfrey's emergence into a frontline starter has been the most exciting development of the 2008 season and one that bodes very well for the Mets' future. With John Maine on the shelf, possibly for the rest of the season, the Mets will be need Pelfrey to continue these dominating performances if they have any hopes of winning the National League East. (More on the Maine injury in the Roster Move post I'll be making tomorrow.)
Pelfrey is up to 163 innings now, after having thrown 152 2/3 innings across three different levels in 2007. There is a school of thought today that young starting pitchers should avoid adding more than 30 innings to their innings pitched total from the previous season, or else their risk for an arm injury increases. As far as I can tell, there is only anecdotal evidence that this practice actually reduces a starter's injury risk (has anyone seen a study that shows a statistical correlation?). However, Pelfrey's two straight complete games certainly suggests that the Mets are skeptical that this theory holds water.