Originally written on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 10/23/14
New York Mets closer of the moment, Bobby Parnell, is no stranger to having success in Spring Training.  The 28-year-old righty allowed just an unearned run in his inning of work against the Houst0n Astros on Saturday and over the past few Springs has compiled an impressive streak of 22 straight innings without allowing an unearned run (3 2/3 innings to end the Spring of 2011, 12 1/3 innings in 2012, and 6 innings to start his 2013 camp). #bbpBox_310535090595831808 a { text-decoration:none; color:#0084B4; }#bbpBox_310535090595831808 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } He may have given up an unearned run today, but dating back to 2011 Bobby Parnell hasn’t given up an ER in 22 straight Spring Training IP. about 1 hour ago via webReplyRetweetFavorite @metszilla metszilla Terry Collins made it clear at the start of this Spring that if incumbent closer Frank Francisco is not ready for the start of the regular season, Parnell would be his man.  Francisco has yet to toss an inning this Spring but that could soon change. #bbpBox_310430201957994497 a { text-decoration:none; color:#0084B4; }#bbpBox_310430201957994497 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } Frank Francisco said Sunday for first time on mound. about 7 hours ago via EchofonReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin Things at the back end of the bullpen may not be completely sorted out, but while there are many questions surrounding Francisco, Parnell is doing his best to provide answers for the Mets.  As Dan Martin of the New York Post wrote today, Parnell could be permanent solution for Mets at closer and may not relinquish the job at the start of the season, even if Franky Frank is ready to assume the role. Photo by Michael G. Baron Terry Collins tabbed Parnell to take over the spot if Frank Francisco isn’t ready to start the season in his prolonged comeback from elbow soreness, but pitching coach Dan Warthen said yesterday it will be Parnell’s job to lose. “Absolutely,” Warthen said before Parnell. “If Bobby’s doing well, he’s gonna keep doing it.” Parnell gave up his first run of the spring yesterday in a 9-6 win over the Astros at Tradition Field. After retiring the first two batters he faced in the ninth, he fumbled a play covering first to extend the inning and surrendered an unearned run. Collins said he wasn’t discouraged by the performance. “He was working on his two-seamer,” the manager said. “We all know he can throw 100 [MPH], but we want him to get easy outs, because if he has to throw 25 pitches a night at 100 MPH, we’re not gonna be able to use him many nights in a row. And if you’re gonna pitch in the back end [of the bullpen], you’ve got to be out there three out of four [games].” Both Parnell and Warthen are confident he is finally ready to make the leap. And they point to the end of last season, when he finished a solid year with 11 1/3 straight scoreless innings in his last 11 appearances and had three saves as evidence. “I’ve picked up where I left off,” Parnell said. “My confidence is there and I’m not really trying to find anything. It helps that I had some chances to close last year and I feel like it went well.” Confidence may be all that stands between Parnell struggling to find consistency and being a dominant reliever in the league.  He struggled closing for New York last year when Francisco was out, converting just 7 of 12 save chances. He did, however, convert his last five opportunities and his ERA from July 22nd through the end of the season was a remarkable 1.45 (31 IP, 5 ER, 22 K’s).  I asked one of our contributors, Joe Kikel, what he thought of Parnell’s progression over the past few seasons and he made the following observations: Photo by Michael G. Baron I really like the growth in GB% last year to an elite 61% and he kept the growth gains in reducing his BB/9 in 2011.  He’s an elite reliever who is on as good of a 3-year run as any right-handed set up guy in the past dozen years for the Mets.  The one real caveat is one of Mitch Williams favorite sayings “when the game is on the line and the more pressure there is….. the more you want a pitcher up there with simple mechanics……. when u get nervous (see mitch bob his head) the more movements you need to do as a pitcher the more you can screw up…….” The more success Parnell enjoys the more likely he is to carry confidence with him in high pressure situations.  While this is ‘only Spring Training’, it can definitely be something #39 carries with him if he’s closing games out for the Mets from opening day onward.
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