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Updated: July 27th, 2013 11:26am
Mackey: While Correia crashes back to earth, Pelfrey is building value

Mackey: While Correia crashes back to earth, Pelfrey is building value

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by Phil Mackey

Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey are heading in opposite directions.

Since May 1, Correia owns a 5.60 ERA with 17 home runs allowed in 15 starts. Over that stretch, he has completed seven innings only once after doing so in all five April starts.

Since June 1, Pelfrey owns a 3.35 ERA while going at least six innings in six of his seven starts. His shortest outing over that stretch is 5 2/3 innings.

Now, arbitrary endpoints don't usually tell us the whole story, but these two sets of arbitrary endpoints for these two particular Twins pitchers might hold some significant meaning.

May 1 is significant for Correia because he was mostly lights out in April, which - and this is nothing personal - was very uncharacteristic compared to his mediocre 10-year track record in the National League. Correia actually completed seven full innings or more in April more often than he did all of last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Of course, Correia's hot start was aided by facing hitters who were largely unfamiliar with him at the time. And it didn't hurt that the temperature at game time was 46 degrees or lower in three of those five April starts.

June 1 is significant for Pelfrey because it marked his 13th month since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery. Now 15 months removed, it's likely Pelfrey is past many of the residual issues that go along with the recovery process - scar tissue breaking off, command lacking, etc.

Over the past two months, Pelfrey's fastball is consistently in the 93-94 mph range, he is inducing more groundballs, and he has allowed only three home runs.

Correia is under contract for $5 million next year, so he's here no matter what.

The Twins must decide what they want to do with Pelfrey, who is on a one-year, $4 million deal. Pelfrey has made it known he wants to stay in Minnesota beyond this year, but it's possible his resurgence has generated some trade value as the July 31 deadline approaches.

Pelfrey, 29, could be a solid mid-rotation guy for the Twins beyond this year - but if they trade him, A.) How much could they actually get? And B.) What are the chances he - and his agent, Scott Boras - would choose the Twins again in free agency? 

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Mike Pelfrey