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Man On A Mission: Mets’ Bobby Parnell Says ‘I’m Still The Closer’

Bobby Parnell (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Bobby Parnell (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Bobby Parnell is ready to resume his role as the closer for the New York Mets.

Parnell didn’t pitch after July 30 and had surgery Sept. 10 to repair a herniated disk in his neck. He has been working out in Florida.

“In my head I feel like I’m still the closer. I’m going to go along with that until told otherwise,” he said during a conference call Thursday. “I feel healthy. I feel like there’s plenty of time to get into baseball shape, and so I came down early to make sure that I didn’t have to jump into anything too hard.”

Parnell was 5-5 with a career-best 2.16 ERA last year and 22 saves in 26 chances. He struck out 44 and walked 12 in 50 innings pitched. LaTroy Hawkins, who took over the closer’s role when Parnell went on the disabled list, became a free agent and signed a $2.5 million, one-year contract with Colorado.

Parnell said he lost about 10-13 pounds after the surgery but is now back at 207 or 208.

“At this time, I don’t feel like there is any question that I will be ready,” Parnell said.

“I feel good. I’ve been throwing. I’ve not been sore after throwing. The only thing that I’m going to take my time with is lifting weights and getting my strength back up. Right now I feel like my arm is strong. I feel like my body’s put together,” he said.

Eligible for free agency after the 2015 season, Parnell is among seven Mets who filed for arbitration this week.

Shortstop Ruben Tejada settled, agreeing Wednesday night to a $1.1 million, one-year deal.

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