After seeing his breakthough 2013 campaign end early due to a neck injury, there were concerns about New York Mets' closer Bobby Parnell. Parnell, who saved 22 games in 26 opportunities in 2013, underwent surgery on September 10th for a herniated disk in his neck. Parnell had been slow to recover, leading to the Mets reaching out to veteran relievers with closing experience on the free agent market. Parnell did, however, receive clearance from his doctor to resume all baseball activities this week, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports.
Parnell now plans on reporting to the Mets' spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida next week to begin preparing for the season. That is several weeks ahead of team's February 15th report date for pitchers and catchers, but Parnell hasn't been able to work out the entire offseason. This is probably a wise choice by Parnell to work out with the team's doctors in Florida, who know his medical history and can make sure he doesn't aggravate the injury by pushing too hard too quickly.
Even though Parnell's clearance is good news for the Mets, don't expect them to stop looking for bullpen help. Every team needs bullpen arms, and the Mets are no exception after losing free agent LaTroy Hawkins early in the winter. Parnell is expected to resume the closer's role, but the Mets could use an insurance policy considering neck injuries are tricky to deal with. The level of pitcher they sign, however, may not be as costly money wise now that their closer is back in the fold prior to spring training.
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/16o3