My name is Alex Spatt and I am one of the new writers for The Real Dirty Mets. I will be posting this intro on my first few posts to acquaint myself with you, our loyal readers, so get used to it. I was born and raised in Manhattan and am currently a Senior at Northwestern University. Like you, I love the Mets and (mostly) everything that comes with that. Unlike (most of) you, I will be writing about our boys – their ups, their downs, and everything in between. Whether you find yourself loving every word or disagreeing on the most fundamental levels, know that my ultimate goal is to provide not just an informative, but an entertaining look at the team we have all come to feel so passionately about. Your feedback is both welcomed and encouraged. On that note, let’s get to what you’re here for.
At a game under .500 and nine games behind the Braves for the Wild Card, and now without Murphy for the rest of the season and Reyes for two to three weeks, a realistic appraisal says the Mets are officially out of the hunt. But, in a way, yesterday’s disaster of a game could turn into a blessing in disguise for the Mets.
The Mets now have nearly a full two months to evaluate the current roster and make some decisions about the team’s future. We will see young guys come up, we’ll see what Duda can do(da), and we’ll see what our vets have left in the tank. Look for future posts concerning the likes of Pagan, Pelfrey, and Reyes but one of the biggest potential beneficiaries of two months of meaningless baseball could end up being Bobby Parnell.
After some strong appearances following the K-Rod trade, Parnell has taken some major steps back. In his last ten appearances spanning 9 1/3 innings, Parnell is 1-3 with a blown save and a ghastly 6.75 ERA. We know he has the stuff. 101 MPH fastball, 90 MPH slider. But he has no control of either. Whether it’s mental or physical is up in the air but sacrificing 2-3 MPH on both pitches may improve his accuracy while losing minimal bite. Additionally, conventional wisdom says he needs an off-speed pitch to compliment the other two, something hopefully being worked on, but here is my suggestion.
Make Bobby Parnell the full-time closer.
For the last few years, Parnell has bounced around in different capacities and hasn’t been able to establish himself in any one role for more than a few weeks. Every baseball mind says he has some of the nastiest stuff in the league and yet, he hasn’t been able to get into the kind of rhythm that could support the idea that he is an eventual top flight closer.
So why not now? Give him the shot to close games that will, for the most part, be meaningless, that will allow him to establish a rhythm, and while Izzy is still around to impart what veteran wisdom he has to the young Parnell. As much as I love Izzy, it’s clear he doesn’t have it in him to be a full-time closer anymore and I can’t imagine he would object to grooming Bobby. The fact is that Parnell isn’t a rookie anymore and it’s time to see what he’s made of, particularly in the months leading up to what is looking more and more like a pivotal offseason for the Metropolitans. It has come time to find out, for real, whether or not Parnell is going to be a contributing part of the future of this club.
I strongly believe that, with the right coaching and especially with a veteran like Izzy around, Parnell can be what we all want him to be. You can’t teach the pitches he has. You can teach him how to control them, though. So I say teach him, coach him, and let him do some soul searching on the mound in tough, late game situations, even when things aren’t falling his way.
We’ve seen a hesitance on the part of the Mets’ coaching staff to do the same with Pelfrey and the results clearly haven’t been good. After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So let’s try a new philosophy with Parnell and let him loose.
What do you think we should do with Parnell?