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Report: New York Mets Planning to Use Bobby Parnell as Closer in 2015

August 23rd, 2014 at 3:39 PM
By Mike Phillips

Jenrry Mejia's emergence as a solid closer for the New York Mets has been an unexpected development to say the least. Mejia had long resisted a move to the bullpen, but the Mets believed that Mejia would be more effective and healthier as a reliever. The move paid off in spades initially, as Mejia locked the ninth inning down very effectively. Mejia is dealing with several injury concerns now, and those concerns may have caused the Mets to reconsider their closer situation in 2015.

The Mets are reportedly planning to use Bobby Parnell as their closer again in 2015, Marc Carig of Newsday reports. In the article, manager Terry Collins mentioned that the team will move Parnell through his rehab under the assumption that he will be the closer in 2015. Collins did mention that the plan is not set in stone, and that the Mets could change their minds based on any number of factors. Those factors could include a strong performance in spring training and injury issues for either pitcher.

Mejia certainly has made a strong case to close next season, recording 18 saves and pitching to a 3.10 ERA out of the bullpen. Parnell also had a strong season in the closer's chair in 2013, recording 22 saves and pitching to a 2.16 ERA out of the bullpen. Parnell was slated to be the closer this season, but was lost for the year on April 1st after an MRI revealed Parnell needed Tommy John surgery.

This is certainly a good problem to have, as the Mets appear to have at least three relievers who can close games for them in house: Parnell, Mejia, and Jeurys Familia. The three of them can combine with Vic Black to form a very effective young bullpen for the Mets next season. It is also important to note that just because one of them will be named the closer, it doesn't mean the others can't get saves. The Mets could easily name Parnell the closer and give Mejia save opportunities when Parnell is unavailable. Having multiple late inning options could also help the Mets keep the injury prone Mejia healthy and ease Parnell back from his Tommy John surgery. There is also a possibility the Mets could flip a buy like Mejia or Familia in the offseason as part of a bigger deal to obtain a hitter. Having a surplus in the back of the bullpen is rare for the Mets, and it gives them a lot of options going forward.

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