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Mets begin “transition” to Bobby Parnell as closer

Aug 16, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

Bobby Parnell throwing

Now that Jason Isringhausen has his 300th career save the Mets are ready to give Bobby Parnell a chance as their primary closer.

Anthony DiComo of MLB.com writes that “according to manager Terry Collins the transition to Parnell as closer begins now.”

Parnell has just one career save, but he’s been a good setup man since moving to the bullpen full time in 2009, posting a 3.62 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 132 innings as a reliever.

That includes 49 strikeouts in 40 innings this season, making him one of just six National League relievers to average at least 11 strikeouts per nine innings. He’s also one of just four NL relievers to average at least 97 miles per hour with his fastball, so despite his inexperience in the role Parnell definitely has the stuff and strikeout rate to potentially thrive as a closer.

  1. plmathfoto - Aug 16, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    You can look at peripheral stats, you can see how many mph he has on his fastball, but you have to look at his heart & head. Any time he’s in a remotely pressured situation he chokes, and doesn’t have the closer mentality.

    • Charles Gates - Aug 16, 2011 at 12:08 PM

      If you build it, the saves will come.

    • senorstem - Aug 16, 2011 at 2:39 PM

      Oh my word, this is the worst thing I’ve ever read. Once again, people bring up the mystical “closer mentality” like it’s a gene that only few pitchers are born with. Yeesh.

  2. missthedayswhenwedidnthavetologin - Aug 16, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    You can thumbs down me and the man above me all you want. Any Mets fan who’s watched the Mets in the past month since K-Rod’s trade knows this guy is far from ready to be a viable closer option.

    • seanmk - Aug 16, 2011 at 12:36 PM

      yeah the same has been said about many setup guys. ryan madson had this label is just a prime example.

    • deep64blue - Aug 16, 2011 at 2:39 PM

      Yeah he’s not ready – but that’s because he’s not a good pitcher, nothing to do with the mythical “closer mentality”.

      • senorstem - Aug 16, 2011 at 2:42 PM

        Bingo. If you don’t give the guy a chance, IN A LOST SEASON THAT MEANS NOTHING, when are you ever going to give him the chance? I’m embarrassed to be a Met fan sometimes, because people like these continually want results, results and results and if you blow a game, TRAID HIM NOAW!

        It’s called development, folks. These things take time. Bobby’s got the tools…let him grow into them and learn how to pitch.

  3. browngoat25 - Aug 16, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Even before the K-Rod trade, whether it was the 7th, 8th or 9th inning, Parnell has been very erratic. There are some days he looks unhittable, and pumps in 100 mph fastballs. Other days, those pitches flatten out and he can be hit hard. To quote Joe Morgan, he needs to improve on his “cosistency”.
    Izzy is a great guy and as a baseball fan, I am glad he got his 300 career save, but at the same time, I am glad that the Mets are going to use the last 6 weeks of the season to see if Parnell can be the closer next year, as opposed to signing a high priced, name closer. They could have done this last year, but instead gave those opportunities to Hisanori Takahashi, who used those stats to sign a bigger deal with the Angels, and the Mets entered this year without fully knowing what they had in Parnell. Now we get find out when he is a Met uni if he is Heath Bell or Matt Lindstrom

    • gammagammahey - Aug 16, 2011 at 3:56 PM

      Yeah, the Takahashi thing last year was a joke. Or an attempt by Jerry Manuel to pad his W-L record ever so slightly ahead of his inevitable firing. It’s definitely an encouraging sign that TC and Alderson don’t fall in love with their veterans just because they’re veterans. Except Willie Harris. That guy needs to stop getting starts. Or pinch-hit ABs.

  4. rcali - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    This guy has been terrible since the all-star break. Should make for interesting 9th innings.

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