The New York Mets will have two representatives when they host the 2013 MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field, but they should have three. David Wright, who will be the starting third baseman for the National League and Matt Harvey, who has a strong case for being the National League’s starting pitcher, are both no brainers to be All-Stars this season, but Mets closer Bobby Parnell should have been included on the team as well.
After years of taking steps forward only to take those very same steps back, Parnell has finally become the caliber pitcher the Mets thought he could be, as he has settled into the role of closer with great results. He has been as effective as any other closer in the National League, and has been one of the few bright spots on a bad Mets team.
Unfortunately, being on a bad team is what likely cost him a spot on the All-Star team. With regard to All-Star selection, there is a lot of emphasis on stats, which hurts Parnell because he plays on a bad team. The relief pitchers on the National League team all have at least 20 saves, while Parnell has just 14 because the Mets have only given him 17 opportunities. Craig Kimbrel, Jason Grilli and Aroldis Chapman are all among the top five in saves in the National League, and because of that, they are on the All-Star team.
But outside of the number of saves, Parnell stacks up favorably to the rest of the closers in the National League. His ERA is comparable to the top closers in the league, only two closers have a better WHIP than Parnell and no closer has gone through the entire first half of the season without surrendering a home run, except Parnell.
If he were on a better team, Parnell would be impossible to distinguish from Kimbrel or Chapman. He would have the same number of saves and draw the same recognition as the other top closers in the National League. But why should it matter if Parnell is on a losing team or not? Going by the eye test, Parnell is just as deserving as any of the pitchers that made the team. Unfortunately, being on the Mets caused Parnell to get snubbed.