For now Bobby Parnell is trying the rest-and-rehab route, but the Mets closer told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that doctors have told him it’s “50-50” that he’ll eventually require Tommy John surgery to repair a torn elbow ligament.
General manager Sandy Alderson indicated that Parnell would wait six weeks to make a decision regarding surgery, but the right-hander said he’d rather decide in two weeks because if he does need to go under the knife he’d like to do it early enough to potentially be available in early 2015.
Of course, Tommy John surgery typically carries a recovery timetable of at least 12 months, so it’s already late enough that Parnell would be no sure thing to be ready for Opening Day next season anyway.
Jose Valverde is serving as the Mets’ fill-in closer and fellow bullpen veteran Kyle Farnsworth was called up from Triple-A to take on a setup role.
Kyle Farnsworth had been slated to begin the season at Triple-A after signing a minor-league deal with the Mets, but Bobby Parnell’s elbow injury opened up a spot in the bullpen.
Jose Valverde is expected to take over as the Mets’ closer, but they’ve recalled Farnsworth from the minors to fill a setup role. And if/when Valverde struggles it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Farnsworth get a crack in the ninth inning just based on his veteran-ness and previous closing experience for the Rays (brief as it was).
Farnsworth is 38 years old and threw just 38 innings for the Rays and Pirates last season, posting a 4.70 ERA and 28/10 K/BB ratio.
Mets closer Bobby Parnell showed decreased velocity while blowing a save against the Nationals on Opening Day and the team just announced that he has a partially torn MCL in his elbow.
Parnell has been told to rest for two weeks, but Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that surgery has not been ruled out eventually if the time off and platelet-rich plasma injections don’t do the trick.
All of which means that Jose Valverde has gone from scrap-heap minor-league signing to the Mets’ closer in … well, one game. He certainly has plenty of closing experience with 286 career saves.
Parnell had velocity issues throughout spring training and it was clearly he wasn’t fully recovered from neck surgery, but the Mets were committed to sticking with him in the closer role anyway. Now the job goes to the 36-year-old Valverde, who was released by the Tigers last season after just 19 innings.
Not only has Jose Valverde secured a spot in the Mets’ bullpen six weeks after joining the team on a minor-league deal, manager Terry Collins said yesterday that the 36-year-old will begin the season as the primary setup man.
And with closer Bobby Parnell potentially not being available for a full workload as he returns from a herniated disk in his neck it’s possible that Valverde may even get some early season save opportunities.
It’s quite a comeback for Valverde, who had a 5.59 ERA in 20 appearances for the Tigers before being released last season and was largely viewed as an afterthought signing. Vic Black’s struggles opened the door for Valverde to grab hold of a bigger role and Papa Grande will try to show he’s got a little something left in the tank.