Mets manager Jerry Manuel says Bobby Parnell will have to wait to close

4 Comments

UPDATE: According to Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog.com, Manuel softened on his stance during an appearance on WFAN in New York this afternoon, saying Parnell will be used in certain save situations. Good enough for me.

4:16 PM:
In case you hadn’t noticed, Bobby Parnell has been pretty impressive since being called up from Triple-A Buffalo at the end of June, posting a 3.12 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and a 27/6 K/BB ratio over 26 innings. His numbers have been inflated by a couple poor outings, however he has been unscored upon in 24 out of his 28 appearances.

With a fastball that averages 96.3 mph, up there with Neftali Feliz and Daniel Bard among the hardest throwing relievers in baseball, the 25-year-old right-hander has the kind of swing-and-miss stuff you look for in a closer. Unless you’re the Mets, that is.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel told Dan Martin of the New York Post that he is content to stick with Hisanori Takahashi for now.

“There will come a time in his career where he’ll be the guy you give the ball to in the ninth inning,” said Manuel, who used Hisanori Takahashi in
the ninth last night. “We gotta try to do what we can to win games.
There will be an opportunity for him to save games. If we think it’s a
better matchup, then Takahashi will get the opportunity.”

I don’t want to take anything away from Takahashi. The Japanese left-hander has had a fine debut season stateside, posting a 2.50 ERA and a 1.16 ERA over 25 appearances as a reliever, compiling a 44/17 K/BB ratio in 39 2/3 innings. These are excellent numbers, so I would expect him to have an important role, but the number I keep focusing on is 35. As in, Takahashi’s age.

For a team that is pretty much out of things in the playoff race, doesn’t it make sense for someone who may have a long-term future in the organization to get a real shot? Besides, Parnell hasn’t done anything to suggest he wouldn’t do as a good of a job as Takahashi. This is the rarest of situations where I’m rooting for a closer-by-committee, just to see Parnell get a chance.  

 

Gerrit Cole set to begin throwing program

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 24:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates sits in the dugout in the second inning during the game against the Houston Astros at PNC Park on August 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

During the Pirates’ FanFest on Saturday, right-hander Gerrit Cole announced that he is back up to full health after being shut down with elbow inflammation in September. Per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Cole said he’ll start a throwing program on Monday as he works on regaining his form for the 2017 season.

The 26-year-old pitched through 116 innings for the Pirates in 2016, delivering a 3.88 ERA and 2.5 WARP before landing on the disabled list in June with a triceps strain and again in August with elbow inflammation. It was a steep drop for the right-hander, who saw a considerable spike in his ERA and BB/9 rate and struggled to strike out batters at the 8.7 mark he managed in 2015.

The upside? Inflammation was the worst of Cole’s issues in 2016, and while the newfound health issues didn’t help his case for an extension, a more serious injury doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.

The White Sox wanted Astros’ top prospects for Jose Quintana

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 27:  Jose Quintana #62 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field on August 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
Getty Images
3 Comments

The Astros, Braves and Nationals came sniffing around White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana during the Winter Meetings, but each appeared to find the Sox’ asking price well beyond what they were willing to give up for the starter. On Saturday, Peter Gammons revealed that the White Sox had floated Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker and Joe Musgrove as a possible return for Quintana.

It’s a strategy that worked well for Chicago in the past, most recently when they dealt Chris Sale to the Red Sox for Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, among others, and flipped Adam Eaton to the Nationals for a trio of pitching prospects. Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow didn’t appear eager to sacrifice some of his core talent to net a high-end starter, however, and told the Houston Chronicle’s Jake Kaplan as much on Wednesday:

We’re prepared to trade players to improve our club right now. […] We’re just not prepared to trade away players that are core to our production in 2017, and those are sometimes the players that are required to get these deals done.

While Lunhow was speaking specifically to the inclusion of third baseman Alex Bregman in future deals, it’s not unrealistic to think that top prospects Francis Martes and Kyle Tucker would also be considered instrumental to the Astros’ plans for the next few seasons.

Martes, 21, currently sits atop the team’s top prospect list on MLB.com. The right-hander blazed through his first full season in Double-A Corpus Christi, posting a 3.30 ERA and career-best 9.4 K/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2016. Tucker, meanwhile, profiles as the Astros’ second-best prospect and made a successful jump to High-A Lancaster last season, slashing .339/.435/.661 in 69 PA. Rookie right-hander Joe Musgrove is the only player left off the top prospect list, but he got off to a decent start with the club in 2016 as well, going 4-4 with a 4.06 ERA and 3.44 K/BB rate in 62 innings during his first major league season.