Bobby Parnell has been something of a wildcard for the Amazin’s each of the past few seasons. He has been bounced all around the pitching staff, however in 2012 seems to have found himself a home in the late innings of New York Mets baseball games.
The question remains however, which inning does the young fireballer belong? He hasn’t exactly found success as a closer, but has proven to be a very effective set-up man. With Frank Francisco likely starting the year on the disabled list,–and better off staying there–Parnell has been handed the job and has a golden opportunity to prove he deserves to stay there. In his six Spring Training games, he is certainly on the right track, but the question is will Parnell be able to incorporate this exceptional performance into higher leverage situations as the year goes on. The common perception among Met fans is no, Parnell is not a big game pitcher, however if we see this Bobby throughout the 2013 season, we could be looking at a completely different pitcher than in years past.
Parnell overall went 5-4 with a 2.49 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. Last season, despite a history of having command issues, walked only 20 in 68.2 innings pitched. He also struck out 61 and opposing batters only hit .249 off him with a .303 on-base percentage, both career bests for Parnell.
The now 28-year old had seven saves, three of which came in September out of just as many opportunities. Also pitching to a 0.60 ERA in the final month of the season, Parnell definitely showed signs that he can handle the ninth.
Although it has only been a matter of six outings down in St. Lucie, Parnell has dominated every time he has been out on the mound this past month. Will that electric stuff continue? That remains to be seen. Throughout his career, Parnell has struggled when the going gets tough, however so far it appears as if we are seeing a changed athlete. One who wants the ball when the game is on the line. One who doesn’t get around hitters, but goes after them and blows them away.
Which Bobby Parnell will show up? I can’t say. But in my opinion, these Spring Training outings, unlike most, are a sign of more than just a hot start in a few meaningless games.
We have slowly seen progression from Parnell each of the past four seasons, and I believe 2013 is his time to shine.
Thoughts from Joe D.
I don’t have much to say other than to look at my images in this post and their captions. It’s time to see some fire in the belly from Parnell – not in the seventh inning, but in the ninth. It’s put up or shut up time for Parnell. He’s not a kid any more and it’s time to man up… No more “deer in the headlights” look either… It’s time to get mean… It’s time to get angry…