Mets Merized Online » Bobby Parnell Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:49:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Despite Reduced Velocity, Parnell Effective In Second Rehab Appearance Thu, 26 Mar 2015 14:02:58 +0000 bobby parnell

Bobby Parnell continues to make progress in his recovery from Tommy John surgery. In his second rehab appearance yesterday behind Tradition Field in Port St, Lucie, Parnell pitched one inning, and did not allow a run.

Dave Lennon of Newsday analyzed Parnell’s fastball velocity from his appearance using PITCHf/x data. He also included some good quotes from Parnell.

“At his peak, before snapping the ulnar collateral ligament on Opening Day last April, Parnell’s fastball averaged 95.2 and maxed out at 99.1 during the 2013 season — down a few ticks from 95.8 and 100.4 the previous year, according to PITCHf/x. As for Wednesday’s performance, when his velocity ranged from 88 to 91, Parnell explained that was partly due to using more two-seam fastballs, a slightly slower pitch than the four-seam.”

“I went in to this outing trying not to overthrow, so I knew the gun wasn’t going to be anything outstanding,” Parnell said. “I backed off and wanted to work on my two-seamer because it wasn’t there last game. It’s more of a ‘go out there and knock the rust off’ kind of thing more than overthrow.”

“The last time out, it was the first time seeing batters in a long time,” Parnell said. “The intensity went up when the batters stepped in, and everything kind of moved a little fast. I was able to slow it down this game and work on a little bit more stuff to go in the right direction.”

Lennon also said that Parnell has a chance to take over as the Mets closer when he returns.

“Parnell was 22-for-26 in save attempts with a 2.16 ERA during his last full season in 2013. He struck out 44 and allowed one homer in 50 innings. With the Mets committed for now to Jenrry Mejia as their Opening Day closer, the team has been vague about its plans for when Parnell does return, which could be as soon as early May. That probably will have a lot to do with how Mejia is pitching — and Parnell’s timetable.”

“I want my body to tell me when to go,” Parnell said. “I don’t want to look at the calendar to tell me when. I want to be 100 percent. I want to help the team more than just being there.”


Regardless of who ends up pitching the 9th, the Mets back end of the bullpen is considerably stronger than it has been in recent years. Parnell, Mejia and even Jeurys Familia give the Mets three solid options for the late innings, which is a luxury the Mets have not had in a very long time.

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Collins Approves of How Wright and Parnell Handled Syndergaard Wed, 04 Mar 2015 01:11:32 +0000 usatsi_8401528_168380427_lowres

Manager Terry Collins spoke with Mike Vorkunov of and fully supported the way David Wright handled the situation with top prospect Noah Syndergaard on Tuesday afternoon.

“There’s a code of conduct in a professional locker room. Our captain thought it was abused and therefore he took action. I’m on his side. I’m sure there’s a thing that happened on the other side.”

“I’m going to take the side of David and Bobby right now because when you’re a rookie there are no other excuses. We’re a team. We will be a team.”

As for Syndergaard, Collins called his actions an error of enthusiasm and a mistake.

“He will learn from it,” Collins said. “And if he does not, he will have a tough time here.”

Collins also had no issue with how Bobby Parnell disciplined Syndergaard. While Wright was scolding Syndergaard, Parnell grabbed his plate of food and dropped it into the trash bin.

“I think it’s the perfect way he dealt with it,” he said. “Perfect. I think Bobby did what I would do and a number of other guys would’ve have done. The captain made a statement and it wasn’t really adhered to and Bobby said, ‘Maybe he didn’t hear it’.”

“If a kid’s not playing nice, you take his toys away,” Parnell said.

“Being a young player, any chance you get to learn, you go out there and learn,” Wright told Newsday.

“I’m not a big ranter and raver. When I get on somebody, it’s 99 percent private. I’m not going to yell and scream. But when I speak to somebody, when I get on somebody, the point needs to be taken.”

Syndergaard told Marc Carig he was caught off guard by the controversy.

“It was surprising,” Syndergaard told Newsday. “It kind of caught me off guard. I really wasn’t expecting it to be that big of a deal. So it took me off guard a little bit. But I understand where it’s coming from.”

4:00 PM Original Post

Kristie Ackert of the Daily News broke the story that Mets captain David Wright had to lay down the law Tuesday afternoon when he spotted prospect Noah Syndergaard eating lunch in the clubhouse while the Mets’ Intrasquad game was taking place.

“Wright had just finished his work in the scrimmage and ran into the clubhouse where starting pitcher Zack Wheeler was talking to reporters.”

“That’s when he noticed Syndergaard, who did drills in the morning and who was not playing in the intrasquad game, sitting at the table in the clubhouse. Wright walked up and quietly but intently spoke to Syndergaard. Though his voice was quiet the word “bench,” was heard at least twice. The 22-year old spent the rest of the game out in the dugout watching the game, which ended in a scoreless tie.”

“It was a miscommunication,” Syndergaard said, explaining that he had missed lunch earlier in the day and was trying to eat and get out to the game.

Wright would not address the incident, nor would he talk about Syndergaard specifically, but he did speak about what he feels young players should be doing in training camp.

“If there is a young player that is here (in major-league camp) there is a reason, they have talent and potential,” Wright said. “I would encourage them to use this chance to take every opportunity to learn from it. If you are a young pitcher, you can learn from sitting in with meetings with Dan (Warthen) or watching a Zack Wheeler, who I know is young, but he has experience.”

“That’s what I think all young players should be doing,” Wright said. “That’s all.”

Good job by the Mets captain who continues to impress me as a leader. As the one everyone looks up to, it’s up to Wright to set the tone and the example, while addressing things like this before they escalate or become a distraction. Wright is the top cop in that clubhouse. Here are some reactions and I’ll add to them as others speak up:

Daniel Murphy – “I bet Noah doesn’t do it again.”

Bobby Parnell – “When you have a young and impressionable player, and you need to make him understand something that he’s not understanding, you have to be a little forceful.”

Noah Syndergaard – “I took it as a teaching moment. He made his point. I understand where David was coming from. We’re playing a team sport. I should be out there supporting my teammates.”


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Spring Swagger or Naïveté? Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:07:27 +0000 mets spring training 2015

Spring Training comes with its own measure of swagger. Optimism is the size of a grapefruit. Predictions of an October pennant race sound as sweet as a sun-kissed Florida orange. From Florida to Arizona, managers and coaches spew sweet accolades on the crop of prospects and the 30-something coming back from season-ending surgery is once again fresh and productive, while players gush giddy gibberish sweeter than the citrus of a pomelo.

Isn’t it grand?

It’s part in parcel of Spring Training, the moment all 30 teams hit the reset button. The mood is sweet and sticky. There’s a sense of renewal, hope and promise. This could be the year.

The New York Mets are no different. They are bold and confident for a team that won 79 games last year and haven’t produced a winning record since 2008. In fact, the Mets are wearing their confidence on their sleeves — literally. Last week blue t-shirts were in each players locker. On the front it says: Win: It’s in Your Grasp. On the back: Take the Damn Thing. Jeff Wilpon tried this motivational tactic in 2012 when he had bright orange t-shirts with the Underdog logo printed.

There is also a naïveté that comes with the pending season.

New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies

Jacob deGrom, the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year, started talking post season last week:

There’s a lot of hype around the team right now and we know that. We definitely want to live up to it. We want to make the playoffs, win the World Series.

Win the World Series, really? If anyone is setting the bar high for the Mets it’s, well, the Mets.

Tempting isn’t it? Everyone wants a taste of the forbidden fruit. Zack Wheeler has been heard comparing the team to the Giants. Yes, the team that has won three of the last five World Series.

(The Giants) are a little bit ahead of us, but we’re on the same path. It’ll be fun to do the same. You see how much success they have had with young arms and developing players. That’s what we are doing here, we just need to keep going.

If you watch (and listen) closely, the veterans speak differently; there are cautiously optimistic.

Curtis Granderson told the New York Daily News:

I think we are primed and ready … We have got to not believe our own hype, you can’t get too far ahead of ourselves. We’ve gotta to go out and play.

But it’s the captain, David Wright, who put all the talk in perspective:

Every year you have got 30 teams saying the same things to the players. Anybody can talk. Now let’s go out there and back it up and win baseball games. The last time I checked you don’t get anything for talking the best game.

Terry Collins set the tone on Day One, raising the expectations of everyone — including himself.

“We’ve been sitting around for four years asking everybody to be patient,” he said. “It’s time.”

Yes, it is, but is the timing right? David Wright is coming off his worst statistical season of his career. Matt Harvey missed the entire 2014 season after Tommy John surgery. Michael Cuddyer is 36 years old and was riddled by injuries last season. Bobby Parnell returns from surgery. Can Curtis Granderson return to form? Who will play shortstop? Do the Mets have enough depth?

Do the Mets have swagger or are they blinded by naïveté? There’s only one way to find out … play ball.

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Murphy, Duda, Mejia, Gee, Tejada File For Arbitration Wed, 14 Jan 2015 02:42:02 +0000 daniel murphy

As expected, Jenrry Mejia, Dillon Gee, Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada were among the 172 players who filed for salary arbitration on Tuesday.

MLB teams now have until Friday to submit their bids for each player, although keep in mind both sides can still negotiate before their arbitration hearings and agree to a deal. I expect that to be the case for all five players. Salary arbitration hearings are held during the first three weeks of February.

MLB Trade Rumors posted their arbitration projections as follows:

The Mets avoided arbitration with right-hander Bobby Parnell last week, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $3.7 million. That was the same salary he earned for 2014.


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Mejia Not Upset About Collins Calling Parnell Team’s Closer Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:10:41 +0000 jenry mejia

Jenrry Mejia is well aware of what Terry Collins said in San Diego when he proclaimed Bobby Parnell the Mets closer as soon as he is ready to return sometime around May. Collins matter of factly said Parnell was the Mets incumbent closer and also added that Mejia, Familia and Black would all get to close games this Spring.

Mejia said he was not upset about Collins’ comments despite his belief that he did everything that has been asked of him. He took the high road.

“Whatever job they give to me I’m gonna be there to help my team,” Mejia said. “I can throw seventh inning, eighth inning, ninth inning whatever. I got to be ready to play the game that’s all.”

Mejia saved 28 games last season and ranked second in the NL with 22 second half saves. He was reluctant to be moved out of the rotation and into the bullpen after failed attempts to close by Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth to begin the season.

But by early June, Mejia took hold of the closer role and never looked back, posting a 2.72 ERA in 56 relief appearances.

“Mentally, it’s same thing, come here and do my job,” Mejia said. “I feel happy to see Bobby Parnell getting ready, because we are going to have a strong bullpen with Parnell, Familia, Black and everybody.”

Mejia and Jeurys Familia both had surgery to repair a sports hernia in the offseason and are feeling great and have already begun working out . They are both expected to be ready to go come spring training.

Here’s video of Mejia and Familia from Ed “Rusty” Marcus who covered the Mets holiday party yesterday.


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40 Man Roster Updates: Mets Reinstate Harvey and Parnell, Outright Four To Triple-A Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:52:46 +0000 The Mets did some housekeeping today and outrighted relievers Scott Rice, Dana Eveland and Buddy Carlyle, and infielder Josh Satin to Triple-A Las Vegas. They also reinstated Bobby Parnell and Matt Harvey from the 60-day disabled list.

This now puts the  Mets 40-man roster now stands at 34.

October 30

MLB Trade Rumors posted their projected arbitration awards for nine eligible Mets players.

Arbitration Eligible Salary Projections

That totals $30.5 million in arbitration eligible players. They project that Buddy CarlyleRuben Tejada and Eric Young Jr. will be non-tendered this winter. If that happens each will become a free agent and be able to sign with a new team or re-sign with the Mets for less money. Everyone but Parnell, who will likely earn the same salary after spending the season on the disabled list, is getting a sizable raise with Murphy topping the list.

One important date to note, and one that will have significant bearing on who gets tendered or not, is November 20. On that day, the Mets have to lock in their 40 man roster and try to protect what prospects they can from the Rule 5 Draft.

The Mets will have to add Matt Harvey and Bobby Parnell to the 40 man roster and reinstate them from the 60 day disabled list. That won’t be a problem as they’ll simply replace Daisuke Matsuzaka and Bobby Abreu.

However, Noah Syndergaard will certainly need to be added to the 40, while pitchers Cory Mazzoni, Logan Verrett and Akeel Morris will get heavy consideration too. Among hitting prospects, T.J. RiveraDaniel Muno, and Dustin Lawley are just a few names the Mets may have to consider.

Remember that anyone selected in the Rule 5 Draft must remain on the new team’s 25 man roster all year or be returned to the original team. So the strategy is to try and protect those players who could help an MLB team right now.

Here is the full list of Rule 5 eligible players as comprised by Chris Walendin of TGP Mets.


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Jenrry Mejia Should NOT Be Our Closer In 2015 Mon, 06 Oct 2014 16:30:46 +0000 jenry mejia

In a great post earlier this week, Harris Decker posed the question as to whether Jenrry Mejia should be traded this offseason. The readers were split on this notion with 51% saying yes and 49% saying no. The reasons justifying this move, according to Decker, are health and pitching depth. These are both very valid reasons. However, I want to throw out a third, and perhaps most relevant reason: he wasn’t that good.

This may seem a bit unfair a first glance. His 28 saves were the most by a Met since Francisco Rodriquez saved 35 in 2009. And his 90.3% save percentage was in the top half of the league. But if we are to consider Ws and Ls in a lesser light for starters in the age of sabermetrics, perhaps the same holds true for saves for closers.

When looking at effectiveness, the narrative changes considerably. Of all NL closers, Mejia ranked dead last in both WHIP (1.48) and BAA (.265). In fact, only once in the last 20 years has a primary Met closer had a worse WHIP than Mejia’s. And this covers the steroid era and venerable closers such as Braden Looper and Armando Benitez. (In case you were wondering, that one season was 2012 when Frank Francisco stumbled to a 1.61 WHIP. Clearly, not great company.)

Given this view of Mejia’s season, the Mets were fortunate not to have lost more of those games. If next season is truly the year we are going to compete, the last thing they need is to be sabotaged by ineffective late inning relief. But as Decker mentions, the Mets are dealing from a point of strength in this department. As a set up guy, Jeurys Familia posted considerable better numbers than Mejia with a 1.18 WHIP and a .209 BAA. While this would not rank near the league’s best, it is also a far cry from worst. And the guy is a fierce competitor with what seems like the mental toughness to succeed in the role. As Decker alludes to, a combination of Vic Black/Bobby Parnell could slide in to fill the void left in the 8th inning if Familia is bumped up.

So to get back to the question of whether Mejia should be traded, I think the answer is yes. But even if Sandy can’t get a suitable return on such a trade, the Mets should seriously consider moving Familia to that role anyway. The results speak for themselves.

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Poll: Would You Trade Jenrry Mejia? Thu, 02 Oct 2014 16:00:38 +0000 jenrry mejiaJenrry Mejia is coming off his most successful major league season. After being bounced around between the bullpen and the rotation for several years, he finally settled in as the teams closer in 2014. He saved 28 games and struck out more than a batter per inning (9.4 K/9). There were certainly moments of weakness for the young pitcher but he showed that he has the raw talent to be a back of the bullpen reliever.

Shifting our eyes to the offseason, it’s important to look at Mejia objectively. The Daily New’s Kristie Ackert released her thoughts on 5 ways the Mets could improve next season. Here’s what she had to say about Mejia:

Trade Jenrry Mejia. It may seem counter-intuitive to trade a closer who had 28 saves in his first season in the role, but with Mejia being injury-prone, when will his value be higher? There are many in the organization w ho have always felt that Jeurys Familia was the closer of the future anyway, and they have Bobby Parnell, who did a nice job before Tommy John surgery ended his season, coming back.

She raises a very valid point about Mejia’s injury history. He has never made it through a season without something hampering him. In fact, since being signed as an amateur free agent in 2007, he’s thrown an average of 97 innings per season in the majors and 57 innings in the minors. Most of those innings were as a starter.

The real thing that concerns you about Mejia is his health. If you could guarantee a healthy Mejia then he is a guy that you build around. Unfortunately that’s just not the case. In 2009 it was a strained middle finger on his pitching hand, in 2011 it was Tommy John Surgery and this season lower back stiffness cost him a few games. It’s always something.

Another reason to trade Mejia is the depth in this bullpen. With Jeurys Familia, Vic Black and the return of Bobby Parnell, the Mets are loaded in the back end of the bullpen. If trading Mejia could bring back a substantial piece then it’s a move Sandy Alderson has to make.

So what do you think? Should the Mets trade Jenrry Mejia and let the other three battle it out for the closer role? Vote below!

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3 Up, 3 Down: Mr. September and the Keystone Kid Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:06:12 +0000 Curtis - Granderson

As our beloved New York Mets played their final series in the capital this season, the Nationals continued to work towards locking up the best record in the National League.  The Mets only took 1 of 3 from their division rivals, but there were positive takeaways despite losing the series.  Below is a breakdown in this edition of 3 & 3.

3 Up

1. Back in late August, it was easy to speculate that Curtis Granderson would be the next free agent bust to hit Flushing, but the veteran outfielder maintained a positive attitude and strong work ethic, which has helped transform him into a doubles hitting, RBI machine.  Since the first of the month, Curtis is hitting (.329) with a (.980) OPS that’s being heavily bolstered by his (.566) slugging percentage.  He’s adapting to the needs of his current team and abandoning the high strikeout/high home run player he was across town.  If Granderson’s current month was stretched over a 150 game season (conservative figure), he’d have 50 doubles, 7 triples, 21 home runs and 114 RBI.  That’s exactly the type of player the Mets should pay $16 million for next season.  Whether he maintains a pace like this next season is highly debatable, but his mid-summer and fall statistics offer enough fuel to counter the negative predictions.  Overall, Curtis slashed out a series line of (.455/.500/1.045), with 3 RBI’s to go with a run scored.

2. Wilmer Flores is an entirely different player as a second baseman.  His range improves drastically in comparison to his reps at shortstop and his plus arm is a tool that finally has the Mets rounding out routine double plays.  In 15 games (54 at bats), Wilmer is batting (.296) while boasting a monstrous (.593) slugging percentage.  Wilmer’s (.321) OBP sits barely above his batting average, so he isn’t walking much when his glove is played at the keystone.  Instead, he’s opted for the conventional route of putting some wood on the ball, giving him 10 runs scored and 8 RBI’s in those 15 games.  Flores continued his playing time at second this series and actually turned in the exact same results as Granderson, posting a line of (.455/.500/1.045).

3. Jeurys Familia was outstanding in the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader, pitching a perfect 8th inning and striking out the side. Familia owns a 2.27 ERA to go with 71 strikeouts in 75.1 innings this season.  The other setup relievers have been excellent this season too, including Vic Black, Carlos Torres and Josh Edgin. It’s not yet known if Bobby Parnell will return as closer in 2015, but Jenrry Mejia has handled the role admirably and he has been ferocious against left-handed batters.  Whatever happens, the Mets will have one of the youngest and brightest bullpens in all of baseball next season and that’s a huge relief.

3 Down

1.  Injuries absolutely kill this team year in and year out.  It’s reasonable to expect some unscheduled absences during the season, but ask yourself this question, how many players have put in a full season?  For the starting pitchers, only Zack Wheeler and Bartolo Colon have remained healthy since Opening Day.  For position players, only four Mets have a qualified number of at-bats and only two have played more than 150 games (Lucas Duda has 150 and Curtis Granderson has 152).  We learned during this series that David Wright suffered structural damage in his left shoulder which he played through for the most of the season, and it could be more serious than the Mets originally thought. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud has been no stranger to the disabled list as well and now he’s undergoing tests with team doctors in New York for an unknown elbow injury.

2.  There are numerous ways to frame statistics and come up with hypothetical scenarios, but consider this “what if”.  What if the Mets went .500 against the Nationals this year?  Actually, they played an odd number of games this season, 19 in total, so let’s say they went one game over .500 and posted a seasonal W-L of 10-9.  In that case, the Mets 2014 record would stand at 83-76 and they would still be in the hunt for the last wild card spot.  Instead, NY finished the season 4-15 against their division rivals.

3.  Let the Matt Harvey media circus resume.  During the nightcap of yesterday’s doubleheader, news broke that recovering ace Matt Harvey was at Yankee Stadium for Derek Jeter’s final home game.  It’s true that these kinds of actions raise more questions than most Mets fans want answered, but it’s going to be a bigger story than needs to be.  He’s proven that he’s a competitor no matter what uniform he puts on and Matt’s locked into the Orange and Blue for the next four seasons.  Derek Jeter’s last home game is an iconic moment for Yankee fans and Harvey has openly admitted that Jeter is his idol growing up and favorite player.  It could very well signal where he intends to go in the future, or it could just be a 25-year old guy, living in New York City, going to the only baseball game in town.  Sandy Alderson made the rules, which included staying behind when the team traveled for road games, and to the best of my knowledge that didn’t change when the Mets shut down Harvey for the season.  He knew exactly what he was doing and did it anyways.  That’s the beast the Mets have to live with, incredibly talented, but lacks the foresight to cater to a sensitive organization.  Hopefully, Harvey leads the Mets to a World Series title in the next four years, but the bottom line is that I could care less where he goes and what he does on his free time.

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Black Shut Down, Likely Out For Season Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:50:56 +0000 Vic - Black, RHP

UPDATE (9/15/14)

Terry Collins speaking before Monday nights game said that Vic Black will be shut down for five to six days as he continues to deal with a herniated disk. Given the amount of games left this season, it’s likely he has seen the end to his 2014 campaign.

Original Story

After seeing a stark decrease in velocity during Saturday night’s game, Vic Black has been scheduled to undergo an MRI on his throwing shoulder Monday.

Even though Black told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post that an unspecified team doctor indicated that his shoulder just seemed fatigued, Terry Collins seemed to be taking no chances with his recently rehabilitated reliever saying,

“We’re concerned about it, there’s no question.”  ”This guy lives and dies with power stuff. Even though there’s nothing wrong with 93 [mph], that’s not Vic Black. So we’ve got to certainly be very careful with it.”

Collins also acknowledged that Bobby Parnell‘s issues began with neck problems and ended up with him undergoing Tommy John surgery on his elbow.

It’s probably for the best. Why push a guy who has been so effective for you all year when the season is basically over? I agree with Collins on this one. It’s a smart move to just play it safe and let Black rest his arm and keep it totally healthy for next year.


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Bobby Parnell On Track For Spring Return Thu, 04 Sep 2014 13:00:45 +0000 bobby parnellAccording to Mike Vorkunov of, Bobby Parnell is on track to return to the Mets in time for spring training. As he continues his rehab in Port St. Lucie, Parnell is now throwing from 60 feet and will continue to strengthen his arm, moving up to 75 feet sometime next week. Parnell spoke with Vorkunov about his rehab:

“I take it one week at a time for myself. I try not to look too far in advance because I know that a setback’s possible because, not necessarily reinjuring, but just sore from stepping up throwing or something like that. I just take it at a week at a time…A lot of people have come back from it. And the percentage of people coming back from it is high. It’s in there but I just know I gotta stick to the plan and go forward and be cautious at the same time and not rush anything.”

While Parnell won’t throw off of a mound until after Christmas, he continues to feel good and seems eager to return to the big league club. For now, it looks like Parnell is in line to join a much stronger bullpen than when he went down on opening day of 2014.

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The Non-Roster Invitee Experiment Thu, 15 May 2014 16:18:52 +0000 jiohn lannan Phot by Howard Simmons, Daily News

Prior to spring training, I was excited about the potential for the Mets bullpen. We had some young arms in the minors that were vying for their shot. Additionally we were going to have holdovers of Bobby Parnell, Carlos Torres, Scott Rice, and Gonzalez Germen occupying four of the spots.

There were three spots up for grabs with leading contenders including Vic Black and Jeurys Familia.

Jeff Walters, who was dominant as the closer at Binghamton and on the 40 man was lying in wait. Adam Kolarek, who had been great in the minors was invited to camp to show what he could do.

If the competition for the final three spots was limited to just these four, it would have been exciting so see. Let’s also not forget that we also had Jenrry Mejia who was looking to make the rotation, but was also in consideration for a spot in the pen. We had prospect Erik Goeddel, who was also on the 40 man roster and was being transitioned after a minor league career as a starter. We also had holdover Josh Edgin looking to lock down the second lefty spot, as well as other dark horse candidates for the pen. It was already a crowded field before four non-roster invitees were added into the mix off of the scrap heap.

John Lannan wasn’t particularly good, but he made the team and squeezed out one of the younger guys because he threw left-handed. After a couple of rocket ships to the moon, he was gone.

Jose Valverde made the team out of spring, and while there was some hope at the onset – there was a reason he was jettisoned by the Tigers and why he was removed as the closer rather quickly after Bobby Parnell was lost for the season. He’s now been regulated to the last man in the pen, occupying a spot that would best be suited to see what one of the younger guys has. He’ll be gone before long, but his time has come. He’s had a good major league run and should hold his head up high with a career to be proud of… however Father Time caught up with him and the good days passed him some time ago.

Kyle Farnsworth didn’t make the team out of spring training. There simply wasn’t room at the inn for him on March 31st. He took an assignment to the minors because no one else wanted him. He got the nod over one of the younger guys when Parnell went down and while he certainly didn’t deserve to be cut before Valverde (in a move that was purely done for Pocket Book Reasons), his time with the team was also nearing a close as the team was already positioning itself to audition Familia as closer. While I understand his bitterness and disappointment at being unceremoniously dumped, he too should hold his head high and be proud of his major league career. If he manages to catch on somewhere else, he shouldn’t be mad at the Mets – for if it wasn’t for them, he would have already rode off into the sunset.

Daisuke Matsuzaka is perhaps the most surprising one of these veteran non-roster invitees on the team. He pitched well at the very end for the Mets last season and had a good spring training, pitching well enough to grab a spot on the team. He was surprised he didn’t earn the #5 spot in the rotation, but accepted a AAA assignment without complaint. The wait wasn’t long at all and after Lannan was released, Dice-K came back to the majors and assumed a role he had never held before – Bullpen Man. He hasn’t been perfect, but he’s been good. He’s been better than good – in fact, other than that one horrible outing in Miami on May 5th where it was obvious from the onset he didn’t have it and was kept in way too long – he’s been outstanding.

When you sign the veteran guys to minor league contracts with invites to spring training, you’re hoping to catch lighting in a bottle with one of them. All four of these guys have had their crack in the majors this year. Daisuke is the only one who seized the opportunity and refused to let go.

Now it’s time to see what the kids can do.


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Familia Could Replace Farnsworth As Mets Closer Mon, 12 May 2014 10:26:51 +0000 jeurys familia mmo

It seems like eons since the Mets were back in Spring Training given all the ups and downs we’ve endured during the first two months of the regular season.

One of the players I was very excited about for the upcoming 2014 season, was starter-turned-reliever, Jeurys Familia.

The hard-throwing 24-year old came into camp fresh off a dominating performance in Winter Ball that had more than one scout raving about his 103 MPH fastball.

Two weeks into Mets camp, I wrote that Familia “was quickly establishing himself as the most lethal weapon the Mets will have in the pen this season.”

“While Bobby Parnell and Vic Black get most of the limelight,  the rising star in this bunch is Familia.”

When Familia is on the mound and throwing strikes, he is virtually unhittable. And on those few occasions when opposing batters do make contact, his sinker as well as his slider which has a downward motion, keeps most of his batted balls on the ground.

Familia is an imposing presence and when he hurls his 6-foot-4, 230 pound frame towards home plate and that ball flies out of his hand it’s a daunting task for hitters to square up against him.

The Dominican native also possesses a swagger that you want to see in a late-inning reliever. “When I see a hitter step into the batter’s box, it’s time for me to get serious and go after them,.” Familia said back in March.

Given his impressive skill set, his strong build, and that quiet confidence, I predicted that he would eventually become the team’s closer by 2015.

It now looks like he’s evolved much quicker than even I expected.

After another impressive outing on Sunday that featured 1.2 scoreless innings, Terry Collins suggested that Familia could take over as the team’s closer and replace Kyle Farnsworth.

“He’s getting closer,” Collins told beat writers. “Three days in a row, pounding the strike zone, throwing his breaking ball for strikes, the confidence is really mounting on him. Yeah, he’s real close.”

In his last nine appearances, Familia has allowed only one earned run on four hits, with three walks and 11 strikeouts in 9.2 innings.

I can’t begin to tell you how exciting it is to see how quickly he’s evolved right before our very eyes. He’s become a force to be reckoned with.

After throwing 4.1 innings in the last three days, I doubt we’ll see Familia on Monday against the Yankees. But it would be so cool to see him earn a save during one of the four Subway Series games. If it happens, that sound you’ll hear will be me cheering him on.

Presented By Diehards

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Revisiting The Decision Not To Re-Sign LaTroy Hawkins Sun, 20 Apr 2014 15:32:08 +0000 latroy hawkins 2

As was reported earlier, Kyle Farnsworth has been named the new Mets closer by Terry CollinsJose Valverde lost the job after a series of dreadful outings in which he allowed four home runs in his last three appearances.

At 38, Farnsworth has closed on two previous occasions in his 16 year major league career which includes 54 saves and 43 blown saves. The veteran righthander last officially closed in 2011 for the Rays, saving 25 games and blowing six.

The Mets never did add that proven reliever they said was a priority this offseason.

Instead they opted to sign a few minor league deals with players off the scrapheap shortly before spring training started, and hoping that one of them would ultimately stick.

So far John Lannan has already been cut from the bullpen, Valverde may be on the way out as well, Daisuke Matsuzaka has just been added to the pen, and Farnsworth takes over as closer.

Meanwhile, LaTroy Hawkins is flourishing as the closer for the Colorado Rockies. He signed a one-year, $2.25 million contract with them in the offseason.

Sandy Alderson felt that was too much money for Hawkins whose first choice was to stay with the Mets.

“LaTroy had a great season for us last year,” Alderson said. “He stepped in and did a very nice job for us as a closer. I hate to keep emphasizing he’s 41, but at that age, in this game, I think the financial issue becomes not paramount in every case, but I think important.”

Hawkins had a stellar season for the Mets in 2013, posting a 2.93 ERA with 55 strikeouts and ten walks in 70.2 innings pitched.

Used mostly as the setup man, Hawkins stepped into the closer role when the Mets lost Bobby Parnell. He ended up saving 13 games.

Going into Sunday, Hawkins has notched five saves for the Rockies this season with a 1.38 ERA and 0.749 WHIP.

At the time Hawkins signed with the Rockies, the Mets GM also said:

“We’re feeling more and more comfortable about the young pitching that we have that may populate the bullpen next year. Bobby Parnell is expected to be fine for next season, and if he were unable to close, Vic Black is the alternative.”

Of course Parnell is now out for the season with Tommy John surgery, and Black was assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas to begin the season, due to issues with wildness which have plagued him his entire professional career.

Black has appeared in five games for Las Vegas and in 6.1 innings pitched he has walked seven batters, thrown one wild pitch, and has hit one batter.

Last week, the Mets attended a showcase for free agent reliever Joel Hanrahan who is attempting to comeback from Tommy John surgery. The showcase was attended by 20 teams who have all shown varying degrees of interest.

The irony is that even if the Mets were to land Hanrahan, it’s likely that he’ll get almost twice what it would have cost to just keep Hawkins, according to some of the numbers being tossed around.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the Mets navigate through the rest of this season with this bullpen, as we continue in year four of the Alderson era.

Presented By Diehards

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Kyle Farnsworth, Wilmer Flores To Join Team In NY Tue, 01 Apr 2014 17:52:13 +0000 Kyle_Farnsworth

The Mets will be adding Kyle Farnsworth to the 40 man roster to replace Bobby Parnell who is headed to the disabled list with a partial MCL tear in his right elbow.

The Mets are also calling up Wilmer Flores to replace Daniel Murphy who will be placed on paternity leave after celebrating the birth of his son on Monday. He’ll miss up to three days beginning on Wednesday.

By adding Farnsworth to the 40 they will also need to clear up a spot and cut someone. They could just put Parnell on the 60-day DL immediately speculates Jared Diamond of the WSJ.

We’ll know soon enough, but the Mets say both Flores and Farnsworth are expected to be with the club on Wednesday when they play the the second game of their series with the Nationals.

Flores won’t be here long, probably just a taxi squad move. But the Farnsworth promotion was odd. I guess the team is really down on Vic Black.

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Parnell Says He’ll Be Ready For Opening Day Sun, 02 Mar 2014 14:30:52 +0000 bobby parnel  USATSI barr

For the first time since last July 30, Bobby Parnell faced live batters on Saturday and threw 36 pitches to his teammates David Wright, Eric Young, and Daniel Murphy - whose bat he shattered. When he was done, it was all smiles for a confident Parnell.

“There was no pain. There was no soreness,” the Mets closer said. “There was nothing holding me back today, so it was a good first step.”

Parnell is returning from surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck on Sept. 10.

When asked if he’ll be ready for Opening Day, the 29-year-old right-hander asserted that there was no doubt. “I’ll be good to go,” he said.

I sure hope so…

After the last three day’s of performances by his potential replacements, it’s imperative Parnell is ready to go when the season starts.

Nobody came away impressed after watching Jose Valverde pitch on Friday, and yesterday Kyle Farnsworth couldn’t push his fastball past 88 mph.

Farnsworth’s velocity has been declining each of the last five seasons, steadily dropping from 96.0 mph in 2009, 94.9 in 2010, 94.7 in 2011, 93.2 in 2012 and 92.6 last year.

So far, Scott Rice, Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia have been the only probable relievers to distinguish themselves and each have looked to be in mid-season form. However, of the three, only Familia is assured of a spot in the bullpen. And that’s not definite.

Memo to Sandy: Don’t stop now… Go with the kids…

(Photo by Brad Barr, USATSI)


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Parnell Returns From Sore Quad To Toss A Bullpen Sat, 22 Feb 2014 15:56:37 +0000 bobby parnell

Bobby Parnell returned to the mound today and threw a bullpen session this morning, two days after missing a scheduled bullpen on Thursday.

According to a report by Adam Rubin of ESPN New York on Friday, Parnell had his bullpen session put on hold temporarily due to an injured quadriceps muscle he got while covering first base during a drill Thursday.

Rubin said that he had been listed to throw Thursday, but the Mets decided to wait an extra day to be safe as he returns from surgery.

It now appears that everything is fine and maybe we’ll get some official word from Parnell later today.

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Bobby Parnell Takes Second Step Forward Mon, 17 Feb 2014 17:27:48 +0000 Marc Carig, Mets Beat Writer for NY Newsday, shared on his Twitter page that Bobby Parnell threw for the second time in the bullpen on Sunday and threw 15 pitches, off the mound, with catcher in front of plate and had no issues.


Parnell threw only 10 pitches on Friday with the catcher also in front of the plate, even though Adam Rubin reported on February 10th, that Parnell had indicated that he planned to wait an additional two weeks before proceeding with mound work.

That is very good news so far for the Mets brass and also for Parnell himself.  It is baby steps towards where he needs to be, but everyday without a setback is a good day.

With Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Valverde in camp, the Mets have some insurance in case Parnell is not ready to start the season with the Mets, but if he continues to have good sessions, his case for closer should be solid.

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Valverde Here To Support Team and Help Younger Arms Develop Mon, 17 Feb 2014 15:10:08 +0000 Jose Valverde

Anthony Dicomo of writes that it was not long after Jose Valverde‘s arrival at Mets camp on Sunday that a small crowd of new teammates gathered around the 35-year-old veteran, pulling up chairs.

If Bobby Parnell is unable to be ready for the start of the season, Valverde or Kyle Farnsworth can temporarily fill the role, but no matter what the veteran Valverde brings to the Mets, he will have a following from the younger players looking for him to share some of his knowledge from over the years.

“I’m here because I want to support the team,” Valverde shares with Dicomo. “If one of the other guys is the closer, that’s fine by me. I want to do my job and support the young kids.”

Dicomo shares that Valverde is happy to be with the Mets, and that Jenrry Mejia and Gonzalez Germen are two pitchers he would like to mentor this spring.

If Valverde brings his A game to the Mets and can also bring along the younger players and help to make them better, his signing may be one that could be a turning point in the off season. Only time will tell.

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Reliever Market Has Evaporated, But Mets Still Seek Veteran Arm Tue, 11 Feb 2014 20:02:18 +0000 uspw_7124018

February 11

Sandy Alderson said today, that while the free-agent market for relievers has evaporated, he would still prefer to bring in one more experienced relief pitcher to compete for a spot in the bullpen.

While he didn’t say it would be on a major or minor league deal, the fact that Sandy said he would compete for a spot leads me to believe we’re talking about a minor league deal here.

That said, he’s very happy to go with what he has in camp, and while he could entertain the possibility of a Jake deGrom or Rafael Montero in the bullpen, that certainly would not be the case with Noah Syndergaard.

I love our options in the bullpen. We’ve got some high octane relievers that should give us a better pen than in the last few seasons.

February 10

Bobby Parnell is about two weeks behind his typical schedule, but the New York Mets closer fully expects to be ready for Opening Day according to a new report from Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Rubin says that Parnell typically would be throwing off a mound right now, but will wait about two weeks extra this year before doing so. He showed up to camp early and is tossing a baseball on flat ground at 120 feet without any issues.

“Everything is feeling great — no pain with it or anything like that. So my confidence is getting better.” 

But as Rubin points out, until Parnell gets on a mound and begins airing out fastballs, even he will not know for sure whether he has fully recovered.

The Mets are still searching for bullpen help and watched Joel Hanrahan throw a light bullpen on Friday, but he is still a long way from pitching competitively. Rubin said the Mets are believed to be interested in Ryan Madson as well, although a team insider did not think the Mets dispatched a scout to watch Madson recently throw for teams.

All of that said, Parnell isn’t worried about losing his job as the Mets closer.

“I don’t pay attention to it at all,” he said. “It’s baseball. That’s front-office stuff. I just have to take care of my stuff.”

The Mets avoided arbitration with Parnell and agreed to a one-year, $3.7 million deal with him last month, and he can earn an additional $50,000 bonus if he appears in 60 games.

Parnell had 22 saves last season and posted a 2.16 ERA and 1.000 WHIP in an injury shortened season.

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