February 08, 2007

Rick Peterson & Humber/Pelfrey

Marc Raimondi of SNY writes about NY Mets Pitching coach Rick Peterson. Raimondi reviews the infamous Zambrano trade, Peterson's success last year and what to look for this year. For full story go to SNY.com

For all of the good Peterson has done since then — reinventing Tom Glavine's repertoire, getting the most out of Duaner Sanchez, John Maine and Oliver Perez — he has been known mostly for supporting that infamous trade and telling people he could fix Zambrano's mechanics in minutes. But this is the year Peterson can change perception.

The Mets didn't sign Barry Zito, one of his former pupils, in the offseason, so they will go into Opening Day with only two definites in the rotation: Glavine and Orlando Hernandez. Barring a move during spring training, which begins next week, the other three spots will be filled with some permutation of Maine, Perez, Philip Humber, Mike Pelfrey, Jorge Sosa, Aaron Sele, Jason Vargas and Alay Soler.

Maine and Perez probably have the inside tracks for a rotation spot. Maine had a solid 2006 season and Perez emerged in October as a stable starter — at least more stable than Steve Trachsel.

Humber and Pelfrey, the organization's two top pitching prospects, are the most intriguing options. Both rookies, Humber has never thrown a Major League pitch, while Pelfrey made four starts last season, going 2-1 with a 5.48 ERA. Pelfrey, 23, was the Mets' first-round pick in the 2005 draft out of Wichita State. Humber was a first-round pick in 2004 before undergoing Tommy John surgery the following season.

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