Mets360’s 2013 Pre-Season Predictions – How’d We Do? Bobby Parnell Edition

13 Bobby ParnellWelcome to the off-season. Once again, since the Mets are not one of the ten participants in the post-season, it’s time instead for some post-mortem. In this new series, the Mets360 staff will take a look back at our pre-season previews and see how they played out. Just a fun little ongoing exercise to while away the days until mid-March, when the focus turns again to Port St. Lucie, hot rookies, veterans seeking rejuvenation and who’s “in the best shape of his life.”

Today we’ll look at the “People’s Choice” closer, Bobby Parnell.

In the off-season between 2011 and 2012, the Mets made a minor splash by signing their putative closer, Frank Francisco, to a two-year contract – almost unheard of during the Sandy Alderson regime. If you’d polled the Mets literati of the time, almost all would have agreed that this would be a huge waste of money. Alderson’s disdain for the closer position is widely known – bordering on legendary – so it came as a big surprise that he would spend such a large chunk of the team’s famously meager resources in such a way, especially considering there was a perfectly fine in-house candidate, Parnell. So all through 2012, Francisco was brought in to the highest leverage situations. To say he was no Mariano Rivera would be an understatement. Francisco’s appearances took on the appearance of the Cyclone, the most famous rollercoaster in the world. He made fans long for the stability of Armando Benitez. The fact that his final stats for 2012 reveal only three blown saves says more about the methodology of the statistic than the ability of the pitcher. In any case, Francisco’s season was done on September 17, when he came up with a bad shoulder. The Mets tried big Jon Rauch in the closer’s role, but he fared no better than Francisco had. Finally, Terry Collins handed the role to Parnell for the last half-month of the year. Over the last ten days, he was able to notch a win and three saves – heartening news for everyone worried about the back end of the bullpen in the harsh light of the extended nature of Francisco’s injury.

So Bobby Parnell came into the 2013 with the closer’s job his to lose, though it was basically by default.

Here was our prediction for 2013:

IP – 65.00
ERA – 2.90
K – 59
BB – 28
SV – 22

As you can see from reading the article, there was some uncertainty surrounding the extent of Francisco’s injury and management’s confidence in Parnell as a closer. The prediction was written before spring training was in full swing, of course, so no one knew that Frank Francisco would take an extended sabbatical and not show up in a major league box score until mid-September – by which time, Bobby Parnell would himself be on the DL with a bulging disc in his neck. In the meantime, Parnell did better than “pretty good” holding down the closer’s job. When the Mets had a lead late, we fans could actually look forward to somebody nailing it down in a way not seen since the heady days of 2006 and Billy Wagner. Parnell proved himself reliable to live up to his career stats in the K/9 and pitch velocity departments. He was finally able to harness his monster fastball and get some movement on it. He was one of the most consistent pieces of the Mets’ disjointed 2013 puzzle.

Unfortunately, he could only strut his stuff through the end of July. Shortly after David Wright went down with his hamstring injury, Parnell had a pain-in-the-neck of his own. It took several weeks for the Metsian pedigree to appear, but Parnell threw his last pitch of 2013 on July 30, notching his 22nd save of the year.

His season ended like this:

IP – 50.00
ERA – 2.16
K – 44
BB – 12
SV – 22

Bobby Parnell surprised all of us with a new found maturity and movement on his devastating fastball. We can only guess what he would have done had he the final two months to play with. The “pros” didn’t think much of him going into 2013. Depending on how he rebounds from the surgery required to repair that bulging disc, one has to wonder if the same disdain will be there for 2014.

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley

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3 comments for “Mets360’s 2013 Pre-Season Predictions – How’d We Do? Bobby Parnell Edition

  1. Name
    October 15, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    While he had nice counting stats all year, he wasn’t that reliable as a closer in April. This was not entirely his fault though, as the Mets gave him very few save chances(took him 11 games to get his first chance), and he blew the few chances that the Mets did give him(remember the Colorado/Tejada error game and the Harvey-Fernandez saga part 1? and he wasn’t very good in one of his save chances).

    He also struggled against Washington and Miami in 3 key games in June, killing a lot of momentum they had.

  2. Jim OMalley
    October 15, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    When will we know more about the success of the surgery? What are the key milestones?

  3. Metsense
    October 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Bobby has now put togther two solid years. He has changed my opinion and he is a “very good” closer and cost effective. He is under control for the next three years. I hope his surgery was sucessful and he picks up where he left off .

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