When it comes to the Mets' pitching staff, most people know Johan Santana and his Cy Young-winning credentials. But the bigger keys for the Mets are the two younger pitchers behind Santana in the rotation: Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez. Those two starters, along with new bullpen additions Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz, need to perform if the Mets are to erase the disappointing late-season swoons of the last two seasons and return to the postseason for the first time since 2006.
The 25-year-old Pelfrey opens the season as the No. 2 man in the rotation behind Santana. Though seven inches taller than Santana, Pelfrey doesn't overpower hitters with his size. Instead, the former first-round pick relies on his command to succeed.