As New York Mets fans know the 2011 Bobby Parnell experiment had it’s ups and downs. And so, heading into spring training this year, the right handed reliever was not guaranteed a roster spot; while leaving many to wonder when/if he would finally put it all together?
Well, if this Spring is any indication, the answer to that question might just be 2012. Yesterday afternoon, Parnell completed his Grapefruit League season by tossing three scoreless frames during the Mets 8-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves. With the three scoreless innings, the 27-year-old extended his spring scoreless streak to 12 1/3 innings:
Following Monday’s game, manager Terry Collins stated the following, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York:
Photo taken by Michael Baron
He’s been very impressive. I think he came in to show everybody he’s a good pitcher. We asked him to do a lot of things last year. At the end, obviously with his stuff, we think he’s got a future as a closer, so we put him in that role to get a taste of it. At times he had a tough time. At other times he pitched very, very well. He’s come into this spring training and has been throwing the ball great.”
Parnell, who according to Rubin, “has concentrated this spring training on throwing two-seam fastballs (sinkers), while mixing in the knuckle curve that Jason Isringhausen taught him late last season,” had the following to say about the pitch:
He showed it to me at the end of the year last year. I think that with my two-seamer, the combination is pretty good — the speed difference, obviously, and I’m able to throw it for strikes. If I can do that, then it gets them off the two-seamer. … I’ve thrown a lot more two-seamers this year, so my velocity has probably been down a little bit. I’ve been working on throwing the ball down in the zone, so I haven’t been really worrying about velocity. I feel like I’m getting stronger, and I could let it go, but I haven’t.”
Meanwhile, it was reported by Andy Martino of the Daily News, the right hander is the first choice for a spot start for Johan Santana if the need arises:
Interesting Bobby Parnell threw 3 scoreless innings today. Heard recently he’s first choice for a spot start for Santana if need arises.
about 19 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite
The report was later disputed by Mike Puma of the New York Post, who tweeted the following:
Collins says he likes possibility of using Parnell multiple innings in relief, but spot starting won’t be an option. Parnell started today.
about 15 hours ago via webReplyRetweetFavorite
According to Adam Rubin, however, Parnell realizes his role “is in the bullpen right now”:
“I know my role is in the bullpen right now,” Parnell said, according to Rubin. “I focus on that and try not to cloud my head up with wondering and stuff like that. …I like bullpen right now. For me, going out there and throwing every other day, and getting out there and performing every other day, I think it is more beneficial to me right now. I enjoy it. I wouldn’t change it right now.”
Hopefully, Parnell can carry this momentum into the regular season; as the 27-year-old has never been short on talent. And, as Jay stated the other day on MetsZilla, “The chance for [Bobby Parnell] to take his game to the next level is very real. Hopefully that time is 2012.” Well, we are less than three days away from finding out… Can’t Wait!!
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