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.  

 

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
1 Comment

The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

30 Comments

As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.