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Twins | Mike Pelfrey has issues

Minnesota Twins SP Mike Pelfrey has been a disappointment to start the season with a 7.94 ERA in 17 innings. However, the Twins are not considering bumping him from the rotation. Pelfrey has seen a slight drop in velocity since the 2011 season, but he's struggled to command the ball more than anything. Pitchers often have command as the last thing that returns when coming back from Tommy John surgery, and Pelfrey has returned in less than 12 months. He has thrown only 39.8 percent of his pitches in the zone, which is the sixth-lowest in baseball. Pelfrey's sinker is not staying down in the zone, either, which has resulted in solid contact by opponents.

Pelfrey's release point is also lower than it was back in 2011. The lower release point makes it unable for him to create downward movement on his pitches, with his sinker and slider flattening out when they reach the strike zone. Pelfrey is always constantly tweaking his mechanics in order to create more movement on his pitches, and he recently shifted to the first base side of the pitching rubber this year. A very slow tempo on the mound for Pelfrey may be a sign that he doesn't have confidence in his stuff early in the season.

Fantasy Tip: The bottom line: Pelfrey isn't far enough removed from Tommy John surgery to confidently rely on him for your fantasy baseball rotation. He clearly has plenty of mechanical issues, as well, so it might take some time for him to correct those problems in order to improve his command. Don't let him work through those issues on your fantasy squad, and deep AL-only leaguers should keep him on the bench for now.

2013-04-26 12:27:00 | Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune - Parker Hagerman

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