After being slowed down a bit by a mild quad injury, Mets closer Bobby Parnell is scheduled to throw live batting practice Saturday – his first mound action against hitters since having neck surgery last September to fix a herniated disk.
Feb 18, 2014; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Bobby Parnell (39) works on practice drills at home plate during spring training at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Mets – especially manager Terry Collins – were worried at Parnell’s weight loss shortly after he underwent the surgery, but he gained all the weight back prior to spring training and appears to be fully healthy and on track.
If all goes well, it’s expected that Parnell will make his Grapefruit League debut in 10 days or so.
Parnell, 29, was tremendous last year for the Mets before being shut down with the injury. He converted 22 of 26 save opportunities (3 of those blown saves were due to defensive miscues), and put up a 2.16 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 50 innings pitched.
2013 was a breakthrough campaign for Parnell, and the Mets expect him to pick up right where he left off in 2014.
Parnell not only excelled on the mound last year, but impressed with his demeanor and presence.