Quick Hits: Petit, Pelfrey, Astros, Call-Ups

As you've no doubt heard by now, Giants pitcher Yusmeiro Petit — yes, that Yusmeiro Petit — came within inches of recording 27-straight outs last night. As a youngster, Petit was twice a top-100 prospect as he moved quickly through the Mets system. When he became the headline piece of the deal shipping star first baseman Carlos Delgado to the Mets late in 2005, Marlins GM Larry Beinfest said that Petit would join the Marlins' "stable of outstanding young pitchers." Instead, the Fish quickly lost interest and shipped him to the Diamondbacks in a misguided bid to acquire a proven closer, Jorge Julio. After flaming out in Arizona, Petit's transactional history on MLBTR has provided a crash course on minor roster moves. While we can all celebrate this journeyman hurler's brush with history, does it mean anything for the 28-year-old's future as a ballplayer?

  • According to Giants manager Bruce Bochy, Petit "sent a tremendous message that this is where he belongs and this is where he should be pitching," tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. Petit has indeed performed in limited action this year for San Francisco, with a 2.05 ERA over 26 1/3 innings in which he has notched thirty strikeouts against just four walks. Though he hasn't suppressed runs quite as well in Triple-A, he does sport a nifty 7.62 K:BB rate in 92 2/3 innings there. 
  • It will be interesting to see how the Giants proceed with Petit. As Baggarly notes in another tweet, Petit will reach arbitration eligibility for the first time this offseason. While the Giants can therefore control him for three seasons, it remains to be seen whether the team will be interested in tendering him a contract to do so.
  • There is some interesting precedent here. Another highly regarded young pitcher-turned-disappointment, Philip Humber, tossed a perfect game in 2012 but went on to post a 6.44 ERA in 102 innings on the year. When the White Sox released the first-time arb-eligible Humber, the Astros snapped him up and guaranteed him $1.3MM (including the buyout of a 2014 option) just before the tender deadline. Of course, unlike Petit, Humber had put up one full season of solid performance at the big league level, as he notched 163 innings of 3.75 ERA ball in 2011. 
  • Twins pitcher Mike Pelfrey, set to become a free agent, hopes to stay in Minnesota, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com, but agent Scott Boras will ask for more than $4.5MM per year to make that a reality. (Coming off of Tommy John surgery, Pelfrey signed with the Twins for one-year and $4MM.) This season, Pelfrey's first in a uniform other than the Mets', has seen him struggle to a 4.97 ERA in 26 starts. Pelfrey's ground-ball rate has dropped to a career-low 43.8%, and he continues to strike out less than six batters per nine while posting a below-average K:BB ratio (1.83 this season; 1.62 for his career). Nevertheless, Wolfson opines in another tweet that some club will give the 29-year-old that kind of money, though he believes the Twins would be best served to pass on another year of Pelfrey.
  • The Astros are still working on finalizing the rest of the club's September call-ups, tweets Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle. As he notes in another tweet, fans pining for top prospects to taste the big leagues should bear in mind that players must be on the 40-man roster to be on the active MLB roster, and adding a player necessarily carries repercussions for managing the 40-man going forward.
  • General managers around baseball seem to be coalescing around the idea that a rule change should be made that limits the September roster expansion, writes USA Today's Bob Nightengale. Among the GMs and managers that Nightengale cites, only Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers prefers to reward teams that have deep farms with a larger active roster, though he says an even better solution is to "expand in April" so teams "won't wear out [their] bullpen early, and guys won't get injured so easily coming out of spring training." Most importantly, several members of the league's committee for on-field matters — including Tony LaRussa and Mike Scioscia — seem to believe that a change is warranted to avoid the sudden and massive shift in the game's rules during its most strategically challenging month.

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