The Mets announced.that closer Bobby Parnell underwent successful Tommy John surgery today.
Parnell made the decision to undergo the procedure right away without seeking a second opinion because he did not want the uncertainty of wondering when the medial collateral ligament ultimately would give out. He also wanted to minimize the risk of the injury affecting his 2015 availability.
Terry Collins was glad Parnell made the right choice.
“Bobby and I talked enough,” Collins said. “He was real concerned about always waking up every day knowing he had a tear in there and how long would it last. So he made the right decision. … He wanted to be ready for next year, along with Harv and all the other things people are looking at down the road pitching-wise. It’s pretty exciting to think that all those guys are going to be all back 100 percent at the same time.”
Parnell should be recovered within 12 months barring any setbacks.
Parnell appeared in just one game for the Mets this season. The result was a blown save on Opening Day– a game in which his velocity was well below his career norm. The following day the Mets sent their closer to have his elbow examined, and doctors determined he had a partial tear in his medial collateral ligament.
The original plan was to have Parnell rest for a few weeks, then attempt to rehabilitate the elbow. The 29-year old right hander decided that rather than risk impacting the 2015 season by putting off the surgery that he would just have it now, therefore giving him a chance to be back early in 2015.
The surgery will be performed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery.
This will certainly be a huge blow to the Mets and their bullpen, the latter of which has certainly had it’s share of struggles already in 2014.
Thoughts from Joe D.
While the possibility that Parnell could miss the entire season with Tommy John surgery was very strong, it’s still disappointing to hear this news tonight.
I didn’t hide my concern for Parnell all through Spring camp as most of you know, and I was quite shocked he made the opening day roster rather than continuing to rehab in extended spring training. But none of that matters anymore and somehow the Mets will have to find a way to overcome yet another major setback.
Sandy Alderson made it pretty clear last Thursday, that he preferred to navigate through any extended loss of Parnell internally, meaning that no trade or free agent signing would be forthcoming.
For now Jose Valverde is the team’s closer by default, and while he’s far from a sure thing or a solid option, he’s fared well over his first three appearances of the season. However, there’s no other sure options behind him.
Even before this unfortunate news on Parnell, the team took a big hit when Vic Black failed to make the team because of significant issues with his control and command. The front office was super high on Black who they went as far as calling him the team’s setup man and closer if Parnell wasn’t ready to go.
This bullpen is in a bad place right now, lacking enough reliable arms who can throw strikes and guys with shut-down experience. The pen was already thin before they lost Parnell, and I’m sorry, but replacing him with Kyle Farnsworth is far from a viable solution.
There may be help on the horizon in the form of young arms like Jeff Walters and Adam Kolarek, but I think Alderson will really need to consider free agents like Kevin Gregg or Francisco Cordero, both of whom are available and have successful track records as closers.
Joel Hanrahan is also available, but is returning from Tommy John surgery and not expected to be ready to pitch for another 1-2 months. Additionally, it usually takes another year after that to fully return from the procedure. The Mets need help now.