Right-Hander To Opt For Rehab And Then See What Happens; Valverde Takes Over

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This is no April Fools Day joke, folks.

Already quite thin on experience in the bullpen, the Mets announced Tuesday that closer Bobby Parnell has a partial ligament tear in his pitching elbow. He will opt for rehab before making a decision on whether surgery is necessary.

According to The Record of New Jersey, he will be placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Parnell appeared in the ninth inning of Monday’s season-opening 9-7 loss to Washington and struggled with his velocity, a recurring theme throughout spring training as he worked his way back from a neck injury and eventual surgery that ended his 2013 season prematurely.

Parnell allowed two hits and the tying run prior to the Mets losing in 10 innings on Monday. His fastball was all over the place, bouncing from 89 to 93 mph. It’s unknown when he actually suffered the injury.

The 29-year-old right-hander was examined at the Hospital for Special Surgery on Tuesday morning after complaining of tightness in his right forearm after Monday’s game, the team announced on Twitter.

After an MRI and clinical evaluation, he was diagnosed with an incomplete tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right elbow.

As far as what’s next for Parnell, the Mets tweeted the following:

The Mets already are without sidelined ace Matt Harvey, who is likely to miss the entire season following elbow surgery Oct. 22 on a partial tear of his right ulnar collateral ligament.

WFAN/CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman reported veteran Jose Valverde, who was the only Mets reliever to have success on Monday, striking out three in a scoreless inning and a third, will become the new closer.

Valverde, who recently turned 36, has plenty of experience closing games, registering a total of 286 saves with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers from 2003-13.

The Mets have called up infielder Wilmer Flores and relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth. Second baseman Daniel Murphy, who missed opening day, is expected to go on paternity leave on Wednesday.

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