Bobby Parnell has been one of the few bright spots for the Mets this season, saving 22 games with a 2.16 ERA in his first full year as closer, but now he’s headed to the disabled list with a herniated disc in his neck.
Parnell hadn’t pitched since July 30 and Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that he got an anti-inflammatory injection yesterday. David Aardsma has the most closing experience among potential fill-ins, although the bullpen also includes veteran LaTroy Hawkins and the Mets might go to a closer-by-committee approach initially.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.
Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”
The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.
It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.