Stick a fork in him, he's done.
El Duque and Mike Pelfrey faced off in a simulated game today, and Duque did not look good.
I know there's all the talk about "not caring about velocity," but this is alarming. Duque apparently topped out at only 81 mph, and was consistent in the 70's. His changeup was all the way down in the upper 50's.
Is this slow-pitch softball? He's definitely in the age range. That's really just kind of sad for a major league pitcher to barely break 80. I honestly can't see him coming back, and if he does, I can't see him being that effective unless he continuously fools batters with his incredibly slow pitches where they will swing three times before the ball gets to the plate, as if out of some cartoon.
Pelfrey tossed 90 pitches, while El Duque threw 80. Hernandez was apparently "very happy" with his performance today, even though he got tagged for a few deep balls in his final inning. Brian Schneider caught Duque today, and should return to action tomorrow.
Ramon Castro caught Pelfrey today, and was "impressed by Pelfrey's ability to throw his slider and changeup behind in the count."
I still think this is Pelfrey's spot to lose. Duque just doesn't seem healthy enough, or have enough ability left in the tank to put together a good season.