Originally written on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 2/13/13
Yesterday it was revealed that the incumbent closer for the New York Mets entering the 2013 season, Frank Francisco, was going to be shut down due to elbow inflammation.  Francisco is in the second year of a 2-year/$12 million contract the Mets handed to him during free agency prior to last season.  Needles to say, that has not worked out very well for Sandy Alderson, who has not had much luck tugging on the Wilpon’s purse strings since arriving in New York. #bbpBox_301381837907980289 a { text-decoration:none; color:#0084B4; }#bbpBox_301381837907980289 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } Ebow Inflammation bothering Francisco, who is shut down. Asked how close he was to 100 percent, he said he’s at “zero.” about 22 hours ago via Twitter for iPhoneReplyRetweetFavorite @MarcCarig Marc Carig #bbpBox_301710010424115200 a { text-decoration:none; color:#000000; }#bbpBox_301710010424115200 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } Alderson said Francisco had some personal issues, deaths in the family, that hindered his rehab last few weeks. #Mets 58 minutes ago via EchofonReplyRetweetFavorite @KBurkhardtSNY Kevin Burkhardt The Mets recently added Brandon Lyon to their pen and as a veteran with closing experience many thought he may pick up 9th inning duties should injury befall Franky Frank, as they routinely did last season.  That scenario has played itself out before the first pitch of the season has even been thrown, but it’s not Lyon that will be taking over closing duties if Francisco isn’t ready to go, at least not according to manager Terry Collins. #bbpBox_301691704384307200 a { text-decoration:none; color:#0084B4; }#bbpBox_301691704384307200 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } Terry Collins called Bobby Parnell last night to tell him he’d be the closer if Frank Francisco wasn’t ready for the season. #mets about 2 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin If it seems like we write a “Door is Open for Parnell to Close” post just about every season, it’s because we pretty much do.  Toss it in there with the Jason Marquis, Carl Pavano, and Roy Oswalt rumors as something we deal with each and every year as Mets fans.  Earlier in the offseason the Mets and Bobby Parnell avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $1.7 million for 2013; a nice raise for the 28-year-old reliever who earned just $500,000 in 2012. His 2012 campaign was arguable the best of the right-handers young career; posting career highs in wins (5), appearances (74), saves (7), whip (1.24), and ERA (2.49).  The 28-year-old allowed 19 earned runs over 68 2/3 innings of work, while walking 20 batters and striking out 61.  Parnell finished the year strong allowing just one earned run over his last 17 appearances, spanning 17 2/3 innings: Courtesy of Michael G. Baron The question with Parnell isn’t whether or not he’s a capable or even a good reliever, we know the answer there is yes.  It’s more a question of whether or not he can handle the pressure of being a closer and has the tools to succeed in such a role.  Early on in his career Parnell failed to throw any of his secondary pitches with confidence and hitters could just wait for his fastball to find the strike zone.  They would then pounce, even if it was 100+ mph.  Then Jason Isringhausen came along in 2011 and seemingly took Parnell under his wing, teaching him a new pitch that the reliever unveiled with good success. #bbpBox_301695269811146753 a { text-decoration:none; color:#000000; }#bbpBox_301695269811146753 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } If Parnell is the future closer of the @Mets, Jason Isringhausen gets a huge assist.Teaching Bobby the knuckle-curve took him to a new level about 1 hour ago via WhoSayReplyRetweetFavorite @KBurkhardtSNY Kevin Burkhardt A quick look at Fangraphs.com pitch breakdown for Parnell over the past few seasons shows how the reliever has been attempting to evolve into more than just a hard throwing setup man.  In 2010 Parnell threw his fastball ~81% of the time, a number which dropped to ~73% in 2011 and 2012, the big difference of course being the fact that last season Bobby chose to go with a curve rather than a slider as his secondary pitch (the Izzy effect). Even with an expanded arsenal at his disposal Parnell struggled closing for New York last year when Francisco was out, converting just 7 of 12 save chances.  Ouch.  He did, however, convert his last 5 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).  So, maybe there’s hope once again that Parnell figured something out during his strong finish, but one thing is for certain, if ever he’s going to put it all together, the time is now! #bbpBox_301695072322330624 a { text-decoration:none; color:#1800B4; }#bbpBox_301695072322330624 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } It’s time. #StepUpParnell #LGM2013 about 1 hour ago via Twitter for MacReplyRetweetFavorite @matthewcerrone Matthew Cerrone #bbpBox_301694262532243457 a { text-decoration:none; color:#0084B4; }#bbpBox_301694262532243457 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } The future is now for Bobby Parnell. That Franscisco signing hasn’t worked out so well for the #Mets about 2 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @WheresKernan Kevin Kernan *Notes- #bbpBox_301696028975960066 a { text-decoration:none; color:#0084B4; }#bbpBox_301696028975960066 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } Looking long term, a lot of Mets people see Familia as possible closer of the future. about 1 hour ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @MartinoNYDN Andy Martino
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