Bobby Parnell faces hitters for first time since last July

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According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Mets closer Bobby Parnell faced hitters today for the first time since last July 30. Parnell, who had surgery last September to repair a herniated disk in his neck, threw batting practice against a group of teammates including Daniel Murphy and David Wright.

Parnell has been bothered by a left quadriceps strain early on this spring and isn’t back to 100 percent quite yet, but he reported no issues or pain with his neck today and has “no doubt” that he’ll be ready for Opening Day. He is expected to make his spring debut in a B-game next Thursday.

Parnell was excellent prior to his neck injury last year, posting a 2.16 ERA and 44/12 K/BB ratio over 50 innings while going 22-for-26 in save chances.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.