Results tagged ‘ Bobby Parnell ’
This Harvey kid is really something, ain’t he?
1. RHP Matt Harvey: In merely his 13th career start, Harvey took a no-hitter into the seventh, finishing with eight innings of one-run ball. In short, he was incredible.
2. DH Justin Turner: Give Turner credit: he makes the most of his opportunities. Three times Turner has appeared in the starting lineup this season, and twice he has recorded three hits.
3. OF Marlon Byrd: Props to Byrd, whose leadoff homer in the fourth inning extended the Mets’ home run streak to 11 consecutive games to start the season. Was not expecting that.
1. RHP Bobby Parnell: Finally, a save opportunity! Though Parnell nailed it down with two strikeouts, he also gave up two hits and a run first. Next time, the margin may be slimmer and he’ll need to be sharper.
2. 1B Ike Davis: Moments after his only hit of the afternoon, Davis was gunned down trying to stretch it into a double. It’s been that kind of early season for him.
3. OF Lucas Duda: Though catcher John Buck went 0-for-4, it’s tough to mark him as a “Down” when he also called Harvey’s gem. Instead it goes to Duda, who went 0-for-2 and was again subbed out on defense.
Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
C John Buck
2B Daniel Murphy
RHP Matt Harvey
OF Marlon Byrd
OF Jordany Valdespin, LHP Jon Niese, INF Justin Turner
RHP Jeurys Familia, SS Ruben Tejada, LHP Aaron Laffey, 3B David Wright, RHP Bobby Parnell
LHP Josh Edgin, RHP Greg Burke, OF Lucas Duda
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
1B Ike Davis
Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.
The Mets installed Bobby Parnell as their closer last night, assuming Frank Francisco begins the season on the disabled list. Despite his fantastic season in 2012, Parnell struggled in a few of his save opportunities when Francisco was injured, leading to the perception that he’s not closer material.
The numbers, however, say that he is. Parnell can still throw over 100 miles per hour when he wants to. He has found a trusted secondary pitch in the knuckle-curve that Jason Isringhausen taught him two years ago. He wants badly to be a closer.
But perhaps most importantly, Parnell took an enormous step forward with his control in 2012, walking 2.6 batters per nine innings. He issued 4.1 free passes per nine in 2011, in line with his career rate of 4.0. As long as Parnell can hold steady with his control as a closer in 2013, there is no rational reason to believe he will struggle.
As for Francisco, who knows? If Parnell seizes this opportunity and Francisco remains sidelined for any significant period of time, the closer’s job may be in new hands for good. Certainly, the Mets are excited to see what Parnell can do in the role.
Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.
An MLB.com colleague recently asked me to rank the five NL East teams on offense, defense, starting rotation and bullpen heading into the season. Some of the choices were clear-cut: Phillies with the best rotation, for example (duh). Others, not so much.
When I submitted my NL East ballot, I had the Mets ranked highly in two categories: defense (in which I ranked them first), and bullpen. In my opinion, the Braves have the best relief corps in the division, despite the loss of Billy Wagner. After that, I grappled over whether to choose New York or Washington, in the end selecting the Mets because they possess a proven closer and the Nationals — right now, at least — do not.
After I sent in my picks, my colleague and I argued over that choice for quite some time. He pointed to the Marlins, who also revamped their bullpen this winter and look stronger than they did a year ago (in short, he accused me of drinking the blue-and-orange Kool-Aid). I pointed to the fact that the Mets ranked fifth in the league in bullpen ERA last year and arguably only got stronger this offseason, adding important arms such as D.J. Carrasco and Taylor Buchholz. Do I have concerns about the bullpen? Of course — most notably, I don’t trust Tim Byrdak to be the lockdown lefty specialist that Pedro Feliciano was in years past. But I feel strongly enough about the group as a whole to rank them ahead of the Nationals, Marlins and Phillies (in that order).
The point is, I felt somewhat vindicated today when I read this story on Fangraphs discussing the relative merits of New York’s bullpen. Does that mean the Mets will be great at closing out games this year? Maybe, maybe not — injuries and year-to-year variance always play a significant role in that. But consider that the Mets just left Jason Isringhausen and Manny Acosta – two very useful relievers — off their Opening Day roster. That, if anything, speaks to the strength of this new-look bullpen.
The Mets have problems heading into the season — that much is clear. I just don’t think the bullpen (or the defense, for that matter) is one of them.
—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.