According to Adam Rubin on Twitter, Mets closer Bobby Parnell has lost 30 pounds since he began suffering from the herniated disk. However, Collins also added that team doctors believe that Parnell will be ready to go by Spring Training.
The hard-throwing righthander had surgery to repair the herniated disk in his neck on September 10. The procedure was performed by renowned spinal surgeon Dr. Robert Watkins in California who has treated more professional athletes with spinal injuries than any other surgeon in the world.
Sandy Alderson also said he expects Parnell to be ready for the 2014 season.
Parnell, 29, is arbitration eligible and was having the best season of his career since taking over as the team’s closer. He was pitching intelligently and using his secondary pitches better than he ever has before and the results were quite impressive, posting a 2.16 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with 22 saves in 49 games this season.
More importantly, Parnell saw a drastic decline in his home run rate which was at an impressive .18% down from a 1.10% average over the three previous seasons. Additionally, Parnell was missing more bats and had a career best .205 BAA and 2.15 BB/9.
Parnell remains under the Mets’ control through the 2015 season, and after earning $1.7 million this season, he should easily double that in arbitration this Winter. He’s a big piece for the Mets moving forward and has established himself as an effective closer.
That said, this surgery, no matter how rosy an outlook is being portrayed, is certainly something to be concerned about and while I remain optimistic, his readiness for Spring Training is certainly not a slam dunk.