Bobby Parnell to face hitters this weekend

By Danny Abriano

Bobby Parnell, who had Tommy John surgery shortly after Opening Day last season, is expected to face hitters this weekend for the first time since the surgery.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Parnell will throw a bullpen session on Thursday before advancing to face live hitters over the weekend.

Sandy Alderson recently estimated that Parnell, who will start the season on the disabled list, could return by late-April. Terry Collins has suggested Parnell could return shortly after that, in early-May.

Parnell, 30, had a breakout season as the Mets’ closer in 2013, posting a 2.16 ERA and 1.00 WHIP while striking out 7.92 batters per 9 over 49 games (50 innings pitched).

Earlier in the offseason, Collins suggested that Parnell would return to the role of closer once he was ready for game action. However, Collins recently said that it Jenrry Mejia is pitching well, he’ll remain as closer.

By either estimate you use (Collins’ or Alderson’s), Parnell is slated to return to the majors roughly 13 months post-surgery – on the short end of the average Tommy John surgery recovery time.


When Bobby Parnell returns, the Mets will have a tough decision to make when it comes to who to drop from the bullpen.

As it stands, the Mets’ bullpen on Opening Day should consist of Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Vic Black, Josh Edgin, Carlos Torres, Dillon Gee, and one other lefty – perhaps Rule 5 draftee Sean Gilmartin.

The Mets will be in a bit of a predicament when Parnell returns due to the fact that Gee’s presence on the roster (and likely in the bullpen) will almost certainly hamstring them when it comes to making room.

Unless the Mets demote a pitcher like Vic Black – which would be a detrimental move if he’s pitching well – they’ll probably have to drop whoever the second left-hander is when Parnell returns.

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