Frank Francisco pitched 1.0 scoreless inning last night for St. Lucie of the Florida State League, allowing just one single. Francisco has tossed 4.0 scoreless innings in four rehab outings and is getting closer to returning to the Mets.
Terry Collins said he would first like to see how Francisco responds after back to back appearances on Sunday and Monday before the team makes plans to activate him from the disabled list.
Either way, there’s no question that Bobby Parnell will continue on as the team’s closer after Francisco returns.
“Parnell has done a good job,” Collins told reporters.
This isn’t really surprising as we’ve been saying it’s Parnell’s job no matter what since spring training. If Francisco didn’t know that already, he does now. This is Parnell’s bullpen.
“He’s just asserting himself as the leader of the bullpen and the guy you want in the ninth inning,” team captain David Wright said. “No question, there’s a different mindset for him.”
Parnell was angry during one game during the recent road trip when he was bypassed in a save situation, and he let Collins know it.
“When it comes the ninth inning and it’s a save situation or a close ballgame, in my head, that’s my inning,” he said. “Every one of us down there can pitch in that inning. Every one of us is capable of doing that. But since Day 1 of Spring Training, in my head, I’ve thought, ‘That’s my inning.’ I want to be out there.”
Parnell has come a long way and for a while I didn’t think he’d be able to handle the role. But his tenacity on the mound has made me a believer.