Mets closer Bobby Parnell needs neck surgery

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Mets closer Bobby Parnell, who was shut down more than a month ago with a herniated disk in his neck, will undergo surgery at some point according to manager Terry Collins.

Parnell tried to rest and rehab the injury and also got an epidural injection, but the problem remained. He fared well stepping into the closer role for the injured Frank Francisco, saving 22 games with a 2.16 ERA and 44/12 K/BB ratio in 50 innings, but Parnell hasn’t pitched since July 30.

Under team control through 2015 and set to get a sizable raise from this year’s $1.7 million salary via arbitration, the 29-year-old right-hander figures to handle save chances for the Mets next season assuming he’s healthy.

Watch: Shohei Ohtani strikes out his first spring training batter

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Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.

On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.

It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.

While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.