With Parnell Nearing his Return to the Mets, Who Should Close?

Through three rehab appearances for Single-A Port St. Lucie, former Mets closer and current awesome beard-grower Bobby Parnell isn’t exactly lighting up the competition. Quite the opposite, in fact. The owner of a 10.13 ERA, Parnell’s fastball has been floating around the 90 MPH mark. Parnell is returning from Tommy John surgery, and has been building up arm strength for the past few months as he nears his return to the Amazin’s. Mets skipper Terry Collins has found a temporary fill-in of the closer role in Jeurys Familia, but he may have found a permanent replacement in the process. Familia has converted all seven of his save attempts, and avoided using performance-enhancers like those that held the finishing job before him (looking at you, Jenrry Mejía.) Collins recently proclaimed that Familia will remain the closer upon Parnell’s initial return, as he should. Familia is pitching far better in the bigs than Parnell has been in the minors. Since Familia took over as closer, he has been lights out, sinker-balling his way to a tie for the MLB lead in saves. It would be in the Mets best interest for Familia to continue to close not only when Parnell returns, but for the rest of the season, and as long as the Mets can extend the season.

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Mets Acquire Backstop Dan Rohlfing

On the heels of Travis d’Arnaud‘s broken pinky and the latest news that Anthony Recker has a bone spur in his elbow, the Mets have purchased minor league catcher Dan Rohlfing from the Minnesota Twins.

Ironically, Rohlfing himself has been on the DL since the beginning of the season with a sprained ankle, as a member of the AAA Rochester Red Wings. The 26-year-old backstop is considered a “catch-and-throw” guy — one whose value lies in his defense — and hasn’t shown much potential offensively. Most of his 8 years and 501 minor-league games have been spent as a backup catcher, and he’ll considered extra depth in Las Vegas.

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Ike Davis Pitches Perfect Inning

And you thought Joe was out of his mind for suggesting that Ike Davis be considered as a LOOGY when the first baseman was still with the Mets. Wait long enough, and some of his nutty ideas will come alive. (BTW, Joe says that Ike’s mechanics aren’t great — something about his arm being behind at foot strike.)

In case you missed it, Davis made his MLB debut on the mound in a 14-1 blowout — and pitched a perfect inning! Is this the start of the first two-way lefthanded slugger / southpaw pitcher since Babe Ruth? Not likely, but you never know …

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Out-of-this-World Streak Reaches Nine

Right in the middle of last night’s Mets-Braves games, the SNY cameras cut to shot of a fast-moving object in the night sky that Keith Hernandez identified as the Space Station. It was visible here to in Bethlehem too, a kind of mechanical Halley’s Comet. That celestial body has been known as a harbinger of major events. The poet in me wonders if this flyover might have a similar portent for our orange and blue heroes. BTW Halley’s last appearance was–wait for it, 1986.

Meanwhile, back on earth, the extra-terrestrials that currently inhabit Mets uniforms laid a 7-1 beating on the deflated-looking Atlanta Braves. I know it is only April, but I felt this was a huge game for the Mets to win, coming off the devastating news of the Travis d’Arnaud and Jerry Blevins injuries on Sunday. A series loss now, especially right before the initial Subway Series set with the Yanks, would have started the speculation that injuries have finally caught up with the Mets.

Instead, Kevin Plawecki and Alex Torres filled in nicely for their two injured counterparts. Plawecki had two hits and Torres struck out Met-killer Freddie Freeman to snuff out the last hope for Atlanta. Curtis Granderson had four RBI and winning pitcher Jon Niese lowered his ERA to 1.50.

We haven’t had much to cheer about recently, so I am thoroughly enjoying this streak. I humbly submit that you all just take this in and ride it for as long as it lasts. I haven’t felt this good about the Mets in quite a while and I am crossing my fingers that maybe, just maybe this is the start of an upswing. I still think we will be hearing from the Washington Nationals, but the rest of the division looks to be buried already. Philadelphia is a last-place team, Miami may have some better players than the Mets but their lack of depth has hurt them badly. (Speaking of depth, Dilson Herrera is certainly making a case for a promotion). Atlanta looks like an incomplete collection of parts. I haven’t seen enough of the rest of the NL yet to get a real sense of who is a contender or not. But perhaps the dreams of contention and the much-maligned meaningful games in September is a reality for us this year.

One game at a time, I know. How about you? What has been your impression so far?

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Series Preview: Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets

The New York Mets enter its three-game series with the Atlanta Braves as the hottest team in baseball, having won eight consecutive games. The Mets swept their last two series against the Marlins and Phillies and have not lost a game since the Braves defeated them twice on April 10th and 11th. The Braves are the only team to defeat the Mets in a series this season.

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Baseball Instruction from OnBaseball
How Zack Wheeler Could Have Avoided Tommy John Surgery

How Zack Wheeler Could Have Avoided Tommy John Surgery

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The good news: Zack Wheeler underwent "successful" Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL tendon and a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. "He is expected to make a full ...

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Why There Are So Many Pitching Injuries This Time Of Year

Why There Are So Many Pitching Injuries This Time Of Year

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More pitching injuries occur from spring training through the first month of the season -- do you know why? There is at least one reason, and despite what you may remember of Tim ...

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Tommy John Setbacks Explained, and Attack from Olecranon

Tommy John Setbacks Explained, and Attack from Olecranon

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Over the weekend, I interviewed sport kinesiologist and pitching mechanics expert Angel Borrelli. We discussed the following topics: - Chad Billingsley's recent major setback ...

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Scientist: Matt Harvey Could Return in 2014

Scientist: Matt Harvey Could Return in 2014

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Matt Harvey has been insistent upon returning to a Major League mound at some point before the end of the 2014 season. Is that a realistic goal? Should he be prevented from doing ...

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Seven Mechanical Flaws that Lead to Tommy John Surgery

Seven Mechanical Flaws that Lead to Tommy John Surgery

MLB can count all the pitches they want, and can blame youth league baseball till the cows come home -- ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) / elbow injuries that require Tommy John ...

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Mets Gifts

This Looks Like it Could Be a MetsToday Hat

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This hat is called Nike New York Mets Royal Blue Heritage 86 Cooperstown Vintage Relaxed Mesh Back Adjustable Hat I kind of like the logo, don't you? Not sure I'm ready to go back to the mesh back and adjustable snap-back style that I wore exclusively from age 6 to 18. Retro is cool, I guess, but, isn't it lame ...

My Nephew Says This Mets Hat is the Bomb

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I need a new baseball cap; my old Mets hats were worn out and gross and have been donated to charity. So I'm in the market for one. My nephew says the above Mets cap is "the bomb." It's called the New York Mets Nike Royal L91 Alpha Swoosh Relaxed Flex Hat. If you like it, click on the hat and it will take you to ...