Bobby Parnell Cleared To Pitch

bobby parnellAdam Rubin is reporting that Mets closer Bobby Parnell, who underwent Sept. 10 surgery in California for a herniated disk in his neck, has been fully cleared for baseball activities.

“After attending David Wright‘s wedding, Parnell stayed on the West Coast to be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins, who had performed the procedure.”

Watkins cleared Parnell for full baseball activities. Parnell is expected to resume closing games for the Mets this season. He converted 22 of 26 chances last season.

“He looked terrific — toned, strong, limber,” said one person who recently saw Parnell.

Great news for Parnell and I wonder if the Mets may reconsider their quest for a veteran reliever?

I like the way our bullpen is composed going into 2014… Here are my pre-season thoughts on the Mets bullpen…

Bobby Parnell, RHP – The hard-throwing righty seized the closer’s role after Frank Francisco couldn’t start the 2013 season. Parnell had a fine campaign before his injury, posting a 2.16 ERA and 1.00 WHIP while notching 22 saves for the Mets in 49 appearances. The good news is that he’ll be ready for spring training and we look for him to have a big year and his first 30 save season.

Vic Black, RHP – The 25-year old righthander fared very well in his short stint with the Mets last season. Black posted a 3.46 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP while going 3-0 and earning his first career save in just 13 appearances. The Mets are very high on Black and he’ll be the primary setup man for Parnell in 2014, with even a few save opportunities thrown in for good measure. He’s gonna be a good one.

Scott Rice, LHP – After spending his first 14 pro seasons in the minors, Rice made his MLB debut in 2013 and was nothing short of spectacular holding lefthanded hitters to a .174 batting average and a .468 OPS. Rice was on pace to shatter the Mets record for appearances before undergoing season-ending surgery for a sports hernia. The 31-year old made 73 appearances for the Mets and tossed 51.0 innings. An amazing 60.3% of the pitches hit against him were grounders. You can bet he’ll be back and hopefully he won’t be abused by Collins the second time around.

Carlos Torres, RHP – Nobody even expected Torres to make the team and yet he became one of the more indispensable role players on the team, whether he was making a spot start, pitching 2-3 innings of relief, or coming in to get a big out. He finished the season with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP and his spot in the bullpen as the Mets’ swingman is all but guaranteed.

Gonzalez Germen, RHP – He made his major league debut at age 25 last season and delivered a very uneven performance. At times he shined on the mound and looked dominating, and at other times he left too many fat pitches over the plate. In 29 appearances he posted a 3.93 ERA with a 1.39 WHIP, with a 8.7 K/9 and a 4.2 BB/9. He showed enough promise to make him a lock for the bullpen, but clearly he’ll have to show marked improvement if he wants to keep his spot with other young arms knocking at the door.

Josh Edgin, LHP – After a brutal start to his 2013 season, which included a demotion to Double-A Binghamton in April, Edgin came roaring back his second time around and displayed the stuff and the swagger we saw from him in his rookie season. He posted a 0.93 ERA over his final 23 appearances before suffering a broken rib to end his season. He finished the season with a respectable 3.77 ERA in 34 appearances. He’s a lefty who throws mid-nineties and should be back.

Jeurys Familia, RHP – The one time top prospect for the Mets had his season washed out due to surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow. He’s still young and has loads of potential, but it’s time for him to start strutting his stuff. He made the club out of spring training last year, but unless he dazzles in camp that may not be the case this season.

Long Shots – The Mets have a nice little arsenal of young pitchers on the rise who could debut at some point this season and maybe even make the team out of Spring Training. My favorites to make the team are 25-year old righthander Jeff Walters who posted a 2.09 ERA and led the Eastern League with 38 saves, and Jacob deGrom, also a righthander, who could transition from starter to reliever in 2014. On the bubble are Cory MazzoniDarin Gorski and Jack Leathersich, but not until they earn their stripes in Las Vegas.

Outlook – I consider the Mets’ bullpen to be one of their greatest strengths in 2014 and certainly one of the best pens we’ve seen since the 2006 season. We have some solid young arms that all seem to be suited for the various roles that comprise a major league bullpen. Parnell is a solid closer who can be counted on, Black looks like he’ll be a dominant setup guy, Rice is the best LOOGY in the NL East, Torres was also among the best swing men in the league. Edgin and Germen lengthen the pen and we’ll see how the final one or two spots shake out in Spring Training. All in all, this should be a bullpen that could be very dominant this season.

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About Joe D 7837 Articles
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
  • Randolph Scott

    Excellent ….. just in the neck, errr, nick of time for spring training.

    I’ll be here all week …. try the veal.

  • Charley’s Twin

    And I say this, because, coming from, Adam Rubin. And Adam, you gotta understand this….

  • The most athletic weatherman

    This is great news!!! I absolutely love that Parnell, Black, Familia, Edgin and Germen all have the capability of hitting 95 mph…All the good bullpens now a days all have flame throwers coming out of the pen and blowing ppl away..I’m really looking forward to watching this bullpen mature as a whole together!

  • Bill Buckner

    I like our bullpen this year, but this piece seems a little over the top. I don’t see this pen coming close to being as formidable as the 06 pen was…

  • Nick

    This site is hands down so much better than Metsblog. To me, Cerrone still treats it like more of a hobby than a job–despite being employed by SNY. He is always behind MMO in reporting and his posts are unbelievably repetitive and opinionated, albeit by someone with little baseball experience. I just wanted to give props to MMO for becoming the premier site to stay updated on my Mets and hope they continue to keep up the good work. LGM!

  • I’m curious as to why you feel that way, Bill. Where do you think we need to improve and which relievers concern you?

  • Thank you so much on behalf of all of us. Welcome to our community and Lets Go Mets!

  • ClarkWGrizwold

    I totally agree, I switched over the other day and I’m glad I made the switch. The comment section is better, it seems all the real fans are on here as Metslbog comment section had everyone whining over the same thing. Never mind the same articled re posted with all the date links giving me a headache.

  • ClarkWGrizwold

    It finally seems like the pen has the strikeout arms that they have been missing over the last few years. Another name I’m intrigued by is Joel Carreno.

  • LastSaneMetsFan

    The pen looks good this year and should definitely be a strength.
    Can’t wait to see Leathersich pitch. And what about that reliever
    Reid that they claimed off waivers as a possible pen piece?

  • Bill Buckner

    I don’t think it’s so much that the pen needs improvement as much as the dominance of the ’06 pen is taken too lightly. Particularly prior to the infamous taxicab accident. Not only were there no weak links in the 06 pen, they all seemingly had career years. I just find it hard to believe that this pen could come close to the 06 performance.

    Rice and Torres came out of nowhere last year, so I think it’s very optimistic to expect them to continue performing at such a high level with no regression.

    Vic Black was a nice pickup last year, but he was not “dominant” as noted in this article. A 3.46 ERA is not otherworldly when compared to some other set-up men around the league.

    Edgin finished his year off on a fantastic run, and as a Mets fan I hope that he continues that in 14, but I can’t just forget about how bad he was early in the year.

    I can’t complain about Germen if he’s the last man out of the pen, but again – comparing to 06 – who was the last man out of the pen? Darren Oliver?

    It was just a much stronger pen is my only point.

  • Thanks Bill. I appreciate your well-thought out response. I can’t disagree with the points you raise as they are all valid concerns. I’m probably taking a perfect storm approach to how I feel the bullpen will perform this season, but I do so with the mindset that we have a lot of great upside that wasn’t really the case in the last few years. My only regret was not bringing back Hawkins, but I’m very high on Familia and encouraged by what he did this Winter including hitting 101 on the radar guns a few times and wowing the scouts. LGM

  • Bill Buckner

    I agree with you and didn’t mean to knock the article in any way. I think the pen could be the strength of the 14 team. That said, though, the 06 team really was phenomenal and was one of my favorite all-time Mets teams to watch (not like we have a ton of winners to choose from!) so I get a little sensitive about people not giving them their proper due.

    BTW, I too am a refugee from “another site”, and I cannot speak highly enough about Metsmerized. I love this site and am so glad I found it & made the switch. Keep up the great work!

  • Peter S

    Assuming health and increased control from Familia, the mets will have a top bullpen with Edgin/Familia in the 7th, Black in the 8th and Parnell in the 9th. Very exciting aspect of the team.

  • Peter S

    I used to go on metsblog and MMO and just realized that MMO was the better site. Plus Joe and his crew are actually pRt of the conversation, which makes it even better.

  • SRT

    Parnell cleared to pitch – good news, indeed.

  • Taskmaster4450

    I agree with the makeup of the BP with one exception: I see a vet brought in and added to the pen while German and Familia battle for the final spot.

    Other than that, I think a source of trouble spanning more than half a decade and two GMs looks much improved. While not expecting them to perform like the Braves BP, I should think that being in the upper 25% of the league is probable.

  • The-rock-man

    David wright got married??? How come we weren’t able to over analyze that???

  • I apologize to everyone for the comment counts showing as zero on our front page. I haven’t tracked down the root of the problem yet, but I am working on it with Disqus and we’ll have it resolved today I hope.

  • Thanks Bill. Me and the rest of the writers on MMO are very humbled by the many new writers that have joined our community. You have all raised the level of debate on MMO to a higher level and it’s very appreciated.

  • $14435385

    Ryan Reid is also a possibility…

  • $14435385

    FWIW, Edgin basically had a bad four-game stretch, two of which were pitched in 28 degree weather in Colorado (where Collins basically hung him out to dry). Take away those four games and he had a very good year. To me, he’s a key this year because he’s more than a LOOGY…though I have little confidence in Collins’ ability to recognize this…his bullpen management “skills” are another factor in the effectiveness equation…

  • sarge69

    Hoping for continued progress and maturity from Edgin, love his stuff and his finish made me happy to see his continued contribution to 2014 BP which has more hard throwers, 93 mph and up, than previous BP’s.
    You really need hard throwers that have some control in BP to win games, the Cards showed this the past few years with their group of hard throwers.

    Haven’t commented on new format using Disqus because i like it plus the new influx of Met fans brings a more optimistic tone here, till the pessimists return 🙂

    Looking forward to more insightful comments and posts in 2014.
    Keep up the great work JoeD and MMO.

  • sarge69

    Meant more hard throwers that have control to stay in AND win games…