I had posted this quote the other day about Nelson Figueroa.
"He pitched his butt off in front of Omar at the Caribbean Series," says one scout. "And he pitched like that all winter long. I know people see the name and wonder. But you see a guy pitch like that, and you say to yourself, 'Why isn't this guy in the big leagues?'"
He first appeared in the big leagues at 26 with Arizona and put up a 7.47 ERA in 15 innings with an ERA+ of 64. He followed that up with an 89 innings performance with an 108 ERA+. He got bounced around yet again and put up an 81 ERA+ in 93 innings, 132 ERA+ in 35.3 innings, and a 75 ERA+ in 28.3 innings. In 11 minor league seasons, he put up a 3.47 ERA, 8.38 h/9, 7.59 k/9, and a 1.23 whip.
Now, I do not pretend to be a genius, but I do know that Nelson Figueroa is worthy of an actual full time shot at the bigs. At first glance you won't see anything spectacular and you probably will not find anything spectacular no matter how much digging you do, but there are a lot of bad pitchers in the bigs. A lot.
AAA MLBYou will pardon me if I just do not think he got a fair shot. He looks like a AAAA player, but his body of work in the bigs was not all that big with some bright moments speckled around. When you watched him pitch in his last start, you saw someone with a game plan who worked both sides of the plate and had the ability to pump his fastball up a mph or two as he did when he blew a 88 mph heater by Bill Hall.
2002 3.63 (IL) 5.03
2003 2.97 (PCL) 3.31
2004 4.19 (PCL) 5.72
2005 No where
2006 4.38 (PCL)
2007 No where
The guy has a clue. Now, he is not going to win a Cy Young any day soon, but he can certainly pitch in the majors in this universe and quite possibly as a starter. While many people might be a little reluctant to think he is an answer to the Mets pitching depth issues, I believe he is. He is going to be like any other 4ish/5ish type starter with his ups and downs. When he is not in control of his pitches and getting a little help, he will get tuned up.
However, it is not a stretch to see many, many more capable starts coming from him. I do not think his Friday start was a one and done feel good story for one. I think he can produce quite a few more of those given a chance and is probably better than a sizable bunch of current big league pitchers.
In a strange situation, the Mets fans booed Milledge. Booing Milledge? He gets treated like crap in New York and only tries really hard and he gets booed after getting traded in a trade that most fans hated? Weird. He did not seem to mind much, but it just really goes back to the fact that the Mets fans will boo anyone and everyone this season.
Luis is the worst bat in the lineup right now and this team needs a spark. He is not going to provide that in his decrepit state.
"Everybody in here knows Pelfrey has that in him," Wright said. "When he gets on a roll and pounds the strike zone, especially on a cold night, he's pretty unhittable."
I still believe!
"I feel like I'm getting more comfortable and more confident every time out," he said. "Even though the results didn't always show it, I felt like I was getting better."