Time for another look at Mike Pelfrey, who was supposed to be a big ace by now.
On the surface he's made progress this year. His breaking stuff appears a bit crisper, at least on TV, and there are rumors that the Mets are going to give him his curveball back. HIs ERA this year is 4.30, much better than the 5.57 mark he posted in '07. He continues to get plenty of ground balls, and in general Mets observers who have seen him much more than I have say he's made genuine strides improving his confidence in particular.
But on the other hand there are still some warning signs in the numbers. His K/BB ratio hasn't improved at all, a slight reduction in the walk rate being balanced by a slight reduction in strikeouts. Even the hit rate isn't much different, and a lot of the ERA difference could just be luck. He's doing great at home in Shea, 3.06 ERA with 32/18 K/BB in 50 innings. But he's been awful on the road, 6.25 ERA with 11/19 K/BB in 32 innings. Lefties are crushing him to a .350/.433/.524 tune, likely an indication that he still needs another weapon against them.
Since he is a Midwest guy and a Wichita State product, I am pre-disposed to like Mike Pelfrey. I think he was rushed to the majors, wasn't handled well, and is still suffering from that. I continue to root for him, but I have to admit that I am not convinced he has turned a corner, better scouting reports or not. The splits are full of red flags, and I suspect that unless those improve, his ERA is going to be rising as the summer progresses.