Instead of waiting two weeks to see if he could rehab his injury and return this season, Parnell opted for surgery and will now focus on being ready for 2015.
For the time being, manager Terry Collins has named Jose Valverde his closer. Despite signing him to a minor league deal, “Papa Grande” will now be an incredibly important piece of the bullpen.
Andy Martino of the New York Daily News noted that Joel Hanrahan, Kevin Gregg, Ryan Madson and Octavio Dotel are all available in the free-agent market. However, general manager Sandy Alderson will first investigate internal options while seeing how the bullpen performs over the season’s first month.
He’s made it clear that New York won’t sign another reliever just for the sake of doing so—if that happens, there will be a legitimate reason behind it.
The Mets could use some relievers who come into a game and get the ball over the plate consistently. So far, the bullpen has walked 10 batters in 22.1 innings pitched.
The 2014 season isn’t even two weeks old, so Alderson not making a reactionary move to counter Parnell's injury isn’t surprising. He's still mindful of potentially blocking a young minor league arm that could make an impact, if given a chance.
Let’s take a look at some of the internal options the organization will be keeping a close eye on over the next few weeks and their likelihood of getting a call to the big leagues.
All player statistics sourced from Baseball-Reference.com, unless otherwise noted.