New York Met Bobby Parnell notched his first save of the season against the Dodgers Thursday night.
He was granted the closer's role due to the injury to Frank Francisco. Parnell put together a clean ninth inning last night, and it looks as if he has the right demeanor to be the Mets' closer.
With that said, Parnell has only supplied the Mets with a microscopic sample size in the closer role. He spent some time closing out games for the Mets last year, but the experiment did not work well at all. It is now a different season though, and Parnell seems to be a different pitcher.
Parnell has effectively made the crucial transition from thrower to pitcher. It seems like a simple task, but it is something that has held back many talented pitchers; Parnell is trying to avoid being a victim to it. So far, so good for him.
He has worked on his secondary pitches and has managed to put together a more than effective arsenal of pitches to complement his 100 MPH fastball. Parnell has all the makings of a productive closer, but he might have to wait a bit longer in order to cement his spot as the New York Mets' closing pitcher.
The reason for that has little to do with Parnell, but a lot to do with the current closer, Frank Francisco.
Francisco has been much less than stellar with the Mets this season, and he is currently on the 15-day DL. So, why should he be granted the closing role when he returns? One reason—trade value.
The main reason that Sandy Alderson and Co. signed Francisco was the hope he would raise his trade stock, and then, they could trade him at the deadline. Francisco's stock is definitely not at its peak right now, but relegating him to a lower spot in the bullpen will send his stock into free fall.
The best case scenario for the Mets is that Francisco returns to the team healthy and ready to have a good month. A solid month will work wonders for his trade value and might even make him a player some teams will target.
So, despite Bobby Parnell fully deserving another shot at being the Mets' permanent closer, he might have to wait just a bit longer. Sometimes the game of baseball isn't fair, and this will be one of those moments for Parnell.
However, Parnell is continuing to get better, and he will find himself in his desired spot soon.
He has worked hard enough in the past year, and the payoff is on its way. Parnell is going to give the New York Mets something that many teams long for—a talented, young, homegrown closer.