Mets360 2014 projections: Bobby Parnell

At the end of the Omar Minaya tenure, it seemed the team bent over backwards to minimize any injury. Seemingly every injury followed the same path. It would go from “it’s minor,” to “day-to-day,” to “15-day DL,” to “indefinitely out,” to “done for the year.” The running joke was that if the team announced a player had a blister, it was only a matter of time until he needed rotator cuff surgery.

While the problem has been greatly reduced, it hasn’t been completely eliminated, either. Nowhere was this truer in 2013 than with Bobby Parnell and his neck injury. We went from “he slept on his pillow wrong,” to “needs surgery and is out for the season.” Even now in late February, we still don’t know when he’ll be ready to pitch in an MLB game.

Parnell says he’s a couple of weeks behind where he normally is. That sounds like something that could be made up in Spring Training, but then he has to back off from his schedule right at the beginning of camp. A season-opening DL stint seems more likely by the day.

The Mets spent some time this year talking about bringing in a veteran for the bullpen and ended up bringing in two guys with closing experience on NRIs. In one way, it’s not much different from previous years under Sandy Alderson where the Mets brought in guys to compete for bullpen spots. But while LaTroy Hawkins was brought in with little fanfare last year, this time around the chase of veteran bullpen additions sounded like a daily story.

What gets lost in the shuffle was that Parnell was great last year when he moved into the closer’s role. His Saves totals are unimpressive because fate conspired against him in the beginning of the year and the neck injury took away the end of his campaign. But in the middle he was everything the Mets could have hoped for from their fireman.

So, what will Parnell do in 2014? Here’s what we think:

Albanesius 62.0 1.99 58 15 3 2.68 37
Ferguson 75.0 2.50 70 20 4 2.83 35
Flattery 72.0 2.75 60 24 6 3.62 33
Guilbert 56.0 2.84 43 23 2 3.36 28
Hangley 46.0 2.17 32 24 8 5.63 35
Joura 59.0 2.33 53 16 3 2.88 29
Koehler 39.0 2.20 35 10 2 2.84 20
Kolton 32.2 6.98 43 21 5 4.50 0
O’Malley 55.0 2.65 58 15 2 2.38 28
Rogan 67.0 2.35 64 18 5 3.07 38
Stack 61.0 2.48 52 15 2 2.66 28
Vasile 65.0 2.31 60 11 8 3.46 32
Walendin 62.0 2.65 52 17 2 2.76 32

As you might expect, our forecasts are all over the map. His innings totals hit every 10-IP range from the 30s to the 70s while our expectations for Saves run from zero to 38. All of us except for one think he’ll pitch great when he does get on the mound, with Patrick Albanesisus expecting his ERA to skate beneath the 2.00 mark. Perhaps the most interesting forecasts come from Charlie Hangley and Chris Waldenin, who both expect Parnell to significantly outperform his FIP.

Here’s what the group as a whole projects for Parnell in 2014:


There’s nothing too surprising in our forecast. A closer would normally have an IP total somewhere around 70 and ours is comfortably beneath that, building in lost time for a DL stint. We think he’ll be quite effective when he gets on the mound and rack up saves at a slightly higher rate than last year, which makes sense given that he struggled for save opportunities in the beginning of 2013 plus the hope that the Mets have a better team this season.

Now let’s see how our numbers compare to the projections available on FanGraphs for Parnell:

System IP ERA K BB HR FIP Saves
Mets360 57.2 2.48 52 18 4 3.23 29
Steamer 65.0 3.14 62 22 5 3.20 33
Oliver 60.0 3.13 55 19 4 3.13  
ZiPS 56.2 3.17 50 16 4 3.10

Neither Oliver nor ZiPS have Saves projections.

The four forecasts are very close to one another with one exception: We expect him to outperform his peripherals. In fact Parnell has done that very thing, posting a lower ERA than FIP the past two seasons. In 2012 he was half a run below his FIP and last year his ERA was 17 points lower. If we could tweak our official forecast, we would likely add a quarter of a run to his ERA but that would be cheating. Besides, if he outperforms his peripherals to any degree, we can still call it a win.

Check back Thursday for our next entry in the projection series.

10 comments for “Mets360 2014 projections: Bobby Parnell

  1. February 24, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    I think you meant Charlie & Joe expect him to outpitch his FIP. I have him beating FIP by 11 points.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Parnell accumulated half of these numbers wearing a different uniform. Though that may be putting the cart before the horse.

    • Patrick Albanesius
      February 24, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      That’s a very interesting statement. Why do you think the Mets would trade him away?

      • February 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm

        I can get it: a big-time closer is wasted on a 70-odd win team. If the Mets are out of contention and someone is casting about for a closer at the deadline — Detroit, say or even the Yankees — it would make sense to exploit an opportunity like that.

      • February 24, 2014 at 4:10 pm

        Lots of moving parts, obviously, but I think it could be the optimal time to move him from a cost/return standpoint.

    • February 25, 2014 at 5:22 am

      Yes, it should have been Joe and not you. I apologize for the screw-up.

      If Parnell comes back from his injury and pitches as well as most of us think, I would not be so eager to move him. If we get a great return – sure. But I’m not sold on either Vic Black or Jeurys Familia as a closer at this point. And while closers are made and not born, we had enough trouble “making” Parnell and I would be at least a little hesitant in creating another problem for the team to solve.

      • February 26, 2014 at 11:28 am

        No worries.

        It’s not that I’m eager to move him, just that it might be a good time to (depending on the offers, obviously). And really, it’s not creating another problem for them to solve so much as facing a problem one season before they’d have to anyway. But as I said, lots of moving parts, and lots of time between now & July.

  2. Name
    February 24, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Man, is Kolten projecting this team to challenge the Met record of 120 losses?

  3. Metsense
    February 25, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    I was for moving him last summer before his injury. I like Parnell as a closer and he is a good closer. He also is a great trade chip at the trading deadline because he is so good. He could land a great prospect or two from a pennant hungry team.He is a free agent in 2016 and would probably be at peak value this summer. I think there are enough young arms to replace him.
    The staff consensus is a good one and I see it as an expected and typical Parnell year.

  4. Bubbadubbs
    February 26, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I think mr. kolten throws off all of these predictions just to be a debbie downer if you dont like the team find a new one to root for or don’t put your 2 cents in. this is a cite for and by fans (at least I thought it was). I would expect bobby’s numbers to be just as good as last year with about 50% more saves

  5. April 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Well, chalk one “win” up for Kolton.

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