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Mets manager Jerry Manuel says Bobby Parnell will have to wait to close

Aug 25, 2010, 4:16 PM EDT

UPDATE: According to Matthew Cerrone of, Manuel softened on his stance during an appearance on WFAN in New York this afternoon, saying Parnell will be used in certain save situations. Good enough for me.

4:16 PM:
In case you hadn’t noticed, Bobby Parnell has been pretty impressive since being called up from Triple-A Buffalo at the end of June, posting a 3.12 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and a 27/6 K/BB ratio over 26 innings. His numbers have been inflated by a couple poor outings, however he has been unscored upon in 24 out of his 28 appearances.

With a fastball that averages 96.3 mph, up there with Neftali Feliz and Daniel Bard among the hardest throwing relievers in baseball, the 25-year-old right-hander has the kind of swing-and-miss stuff you look for in a closer. Unless you’re the Mets, that is.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel told Dan Martin of the New York Post that he is content to stick with Hisanori Takahashi for now.

“There will come a time in his career where he’ll be the guy you give the ball to in the ninth inning,” said Manuel, who used Hisanori Takahashi in
the ninth last night. “We gotta try to do what we can to win games.
There will be an opportunity for him to save games. If we think it’s a
better matchup, then Takahashi will get the opportunity.”

I don’t want to take anything away from Takahashi. The Japanese left-hander has had a fine debut season stateside, posting a 2.50 ERA and a 1.16 ERA over 25 appearances as a reliever, compiling a 44/17 K/BB ratio in 39 2/3 innings. These are excellent numbers, so I would expect him to have an important role, but the number I keep focusing on is 35. As in, Takahashi’s age.

For a team that is pretty much out of things in the playoff race, doesn’t it make sense for someone who may have a long-term future in the organization to get a real shot? Besides, Parnell hasn’t done anything to suggest he wouldn’t do as a good of a job as Takahashi. This is the rarest of situations where I’m rooting for a closer-by-committee, just to see Parnell get a chance.  


  1. Simon DelMonte - Aug 25, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    If Takahashi works, I see no reason not to use him.
    And personally, I like that the Mets refuse to give up on this season. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?

  2. D.J. Short - Aug 25, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    That’s the thing. I don’t see Parnell and Takahashi sharing the role as a bad thing. Manuel shouldn’t act like Parnell getting a chance is admitting defeat. It’s just not. Since one is a righty and one is a lefty, I’m sure they could make it work. I just want Parnell to get an opening.

  3. David - Aug 25, 2010 at 5:13 PM

    While I’m not a big Manuel fan, I don’t think he should make changes to his roster just because reporters think he should. His job, as manager, is to put the team in position to win games. Maybe, just maybe, the guy who actually talks to his players knows them better than those of us who watch them on TV, and he might have a reason for doing what he does. I’m not saying I KNOW he does, but maybe.

  4. mets182 - Aug 25, 2010 at 5:18 PM

    Personally I want Parnell to have the job, more then likely Takahashi wont be back next year, while Parnell has the chance to be a big part of the Mets future, espically with their closer situation for next year. Manuel and Minaya will be gone next year, one of Manuels big problems is mismanaging the pen

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