Right-Hander Likely To Assume Closer's Role Again As Soon As He's Healthy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bobby Parnell wasn’t supposed to do what he did on Friday, at least not yet.

Yet there was the Mets’ closer throwing 10 pitches from the mound at the team’s spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Parnell, who is recovering from surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck, wasn’t supposed to be at this point for another week to 10 days.

Mets manager Terry Collins was thrilled.

“Bobby met with all the medical people involved, and he wanted to get out there because he’s been playing catch,” Collins said. “He just wanted to see how it felt, and it felt great.”

New York will desperately need the hard-throwing right-hander this season. Right now its bullpen is filled largely with no-names and retreads. Parnell, who went 5-5 with a 2.16 ERA in 49 games last season, will likely assume the closer’s role as soon as he’s healthy, Collins said. The 29-year-old right-hander had 22 saves in 26 chances last season before getting injured.

The Mets have been trying to patch-work their bullpen together this offseason, signing aging veterans Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Valverde, presumably as late-inning set-up men.

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