The Mets considered releasing Mike Pelfrey

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A couple weeks ago our Matthew Pouliot suggested that maybe the Mets should just release Mike Pelfrey. I’m going to take this morning’s story from Andy Martino as evidence that the Mets brass reads HBT:

In a recent meeting that included the Mets’ executives and coaches, members of the front office suggested releasing Mike Pelfrey before Opening Day, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation. None of the uniformed staff was in favor of the idea, and it was downplayed.

How much of that was a financial decision — Pelfrey has a non-guaranteed contract if he were to be cut before Opening Day, which would have the Mets owe him only $1 million — and how much was an actual baseball decision is an interesting question.  Because baseball-wise, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to release him.

Why? Because it’s not like having Pelfrey around, even if he’s at his worst, will prevent the Mets from going to the playoffs.  And when you’re not contending it’s useful to have someone like him around. He could eat some innings. If he figures out how to pitch effectively again he could be trade bait.  Trading him now — which the Mets have considered — would be the ultimate sell-low move.  But releasing him would be a similar kind of thing too. “Release-low” maybe.

In any event, Pelfrey had a nice outing yesterday. And while I wouldn’t bet on him being a truly good pitcher this season, it’s not out of the question that he could be serviceable, and that’s worth taking a chance on.

Steven Matz homers in back-to-back starts

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Mets starter Steven Matz helped his own cause again, belting a solo home run in the top of the third inning of Tuesday’s game against the Phillies. Matz turned on a 1-1 breaking ball from Cy Young contender Aaron Nola, breaking a scoreless tie.

Matz also homered in his previous start against the Marlins last Thursday. According to MLB Stat of the Day, he is the third Mets pitcher to homer in back-to-back starts, joining Tom Seaver (1972) and Ron Darling (1989).

Matz is the fourth full-time pitcher to hit multiple home runs this season, joining the Reds’ Michael Lorenzen (four), and the Cardinals’ John Gant and Miles Mikolas (two each). The last Mets pitcher to hit multiple home runs in a season was Noah Syndergaard, who hit three in 2016.

Along with the bat, Matz has also been dealing on the mound. As of this writing, he has held the Phillies scoreless over five innings despite walking five batters and allowing two hits.