D.J. Carrasco and Bobby Parnell to work seventh and eighth innings in front of Francisco Rodriguez

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New manager Terry Collins laid out the Mets’ bullpen plan to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, saying that he expects D.J. Carrasco to work the seventh inning and Bobby Parnell to work the eighth inning setting up closer Francisco Rodriguez.

Parnell made a team-high 68 appearances as a rookie in 2009, but then spent the first three months of last season at Triple-A before being called up in late June. He was very impressive after that, appearing in 41 of the final 93 games while posting a 2.83 ERA and 33/8 K/BB ratio in 35 innings.

Parnell is a prototypical late-inning reliever, as his average fastball clocked in at 96.5 miles per hour for the fifth-highest velocity among all pitchers who logged at least 30 innings in 2010. Carrasco doesn’t quite fit that same mold, averaging just 90.4 mph with his fastball, but he’s posted a sub-4.00 ERA in three straight years. They’re a solid setup duo, although the overall success of the Mets’ bullpen hinges on Rodriguez being healthy and non-violent in 2011.

A.J. Hinch responds to Ken Giles’ negative comments about Astros

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On Sunday, Blue Jays closer Ken Giles spoke to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star. Giles said, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston.” Giles won a World Series with the Astros last year, but talked about communication issues with the Astros and compared them unfavorably to the Blue Jays. Giles described the communication as having been “lost” and credited the Jays for staying patient with him.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch responded to Giles’ comments on Monday. Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Hinch said:

I think he’s wrong and I’m disappointed that he would go down that path given how much work and time and energy and communication that our front office, our coaching staff, me, we all went through this with him. And I understand, there was some disappointment in his tenure as an Astro because of the turbulent way things went about. We gave him every opportunity, we communicated with him effectively, we have an incredible culture where every single player will tell you it’s one of the best cultures they’ve had, one of the best communication envrionments they’ve had. They all know their roles. They all know their situations. To have one person out of all the guys in our clubhouse come out and claim otherwise is flat wrong.

While Giles certainly could be embellishing or deliberately misconstruing his time there, Hinch’s rebuttal doesn’t actually disqualify anything Giles said. Giles certainly could have had a negative experience in Houston even if everyone else was enjoying the “incredible culture” and “one of the best communication environments.”

Given how the Astros — including Hinch — responded to criticism about their acquiring an accused domestic abuser, they’re not in the best position to boast about an “incredible culture” anyway.

At any rate, this is a he-said, he-said situation. If anything more comes of it, it will be Giles further torching a bridge.