During a routine Spring Training drill on Friday, New York Mets closer Bobby Parnell felt some discomfort in his quadriceps after running to cover first base. Manager Terry Collins downplayed the mild injury as “tightness,” but the daily word of the day for Parnell “caution.” The decision was made to shut him down for the rest of the afternoon, postponing a scheduled throwing session until Saturday.
Parnell, who underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck on September 10th, has thrown only a handful times this month. As the projected 2014 closer with a history of injuries, the Mets want to take it slow with Parnell and his 100-plus mph fastball.
His first time throwing off a mound since the surgery was a 10-pitch effort on February 14; he had worked up to a 35-pitch showing last Tuesday and planned to throw again on Thursday before caution and the quad injury pushed his next bullpen session into the weekend. The Mets are looking to get Parnell into games after a few more weeks, figuring 9-10 appearances will have him ready for Opening Day on March 31.
Until then, caution. If the Mets can keep him healthy, Parnell has the tools to be an elite MLB closer, giving the Mets the luxury of playing eight-inning games. If not, fans going to be treated to a minor myocardial infarction every time Kyle Farnsworth is even considered to take the ball in the ninth. No one wants to see that happen.
For the sake of my uninsured heart, take it easy, Bobby.