Bobby Parnell has been cleared for baseball activities and has been throwing for several weeks already, he said on a conference call on Thursday. Parnell had surgery for a herniated disk in his neck on Sept. 10.
Parnell, despite the surgery, still sees himself as the Mets’ closer.
“In my head, I feel like I’m still the closer,” he said. “I’ll go with that until told otherwise.”
In December, Sandy Alderson told reporters Parnell had gained all the weight back he lost after surgery and he’s confident his closer will be ready for Spring Training. “He looked terrific, toned, strong, limber,” according to someone who recently saw Parnell (Rubin, Jan. 9). Parnell said he’s back up to his normal weight – 207 or 208 lbs. – and that estimates of his post-surgery weightloss were overstated.
“I’m going to get back into baseball shape and not look back,” Parnell said.
Nevertheless, Alderson is reportedly looking for a veteran set-up man (either by trade or minor-league deal) to compete with RHP Vic Black in the event Parnell is not ready for the start of the season.
“I don’t think there’s any question that I will be ready [for Opening Day],” he said.