Mike Pelfrey is playing in only his third professional baseball season after being drafted out of Witchita State.
2006 was his first season, where he saw time at every level: A+, double-A, triple-A, and even the Major Leagues. Pelfrey split time between the minors and MLB in 2007 as well, making 13 starts and appearing in 15 games for the New York Mets.
This year, Pelfrey was a major leaguer from the get go. And now his innings count is becoming an issue.
2006: 117 IP
2007: 153 IP
2008: 145 IP
The Mets are worried Pelfrey is going to run into a wall as he move further and further away from his previous highest innings count. I believe Pelfrey could have stayed in Friday night's game against Pittsburgh. He had thrown only 98 pitches, and had throw shutout baseball through seven innings.
I feel the team may look to limit his starts down the stretch, or if the bullpen ever sures up, hand the game over to them early. As of now, the way the bullpen looks, the Mets can't do that. But if it does return to form (and it must) I can see the team taking Pelfrey out after only five innings if the Mets have a lead.
Pelfrey is leading the team with 11 wins, sporting a 3.91 ERA. He might be critical down the stretch and in to postseason if the Mets make it there. I am iffy on this decision, but I understand if they have to make this choice to save his arm.