March 10, 2014

Parnell Returns A Day Early

If you decided to take in yesterday's afternoon game between the Mets and the Braves, you got to see more than a spring training victory.  You also go to see the return of team closer, Bobby Parnell.  Originally scheduled to throw a side session on Sunday and make his first Grapefruit League appearance today, Parnell talked his way on to the mound yesterday.  The result?  Parnell threw one inning, giving up one hit and an unearned run.

Parnell was seemingly happy with the outing, stating after the facts:

"I thought it went well. I felt like I was in the zone, especially there at the end. I think
 it went really well."

Terry Collins echoed that statement:

"To see him out there for the first time and really see him let loose. He's been a 
little tentative in the pen. I understand it. But he threw the ball great. Those last 
five or six, he let go good."

How Parnell responds today is actually more important than the results of his return.  Sunday's appearance was his first in a game setting since a neck injury ended his 2013 season last July.  Parnell is expected to be ready for opening day, a positive note for an otherwise questionable bullpen.  The key will be seeing how responds after each outing, monitoring his velocity and also being able to work on consecutive days later this spring.

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