Bobby Parnell showed progress in his checkup last week, but he is still weeks away from being cleared for baseball activities, Terry Collins told reporters in Orlando earlier this week.
Parnell had surgery on a herniated disk in his neck on September 10. The team has said is expected to be ready for Spring Training.
“He’s feeling better,” Collins said (Delcos, Dec. 12).
“We’ve got to wait to see how he shows up, where he’s at in a month,’’ he said. “He hasn’t done much yet, so he’s got to get himself in shape.”
The Mets are reportedly looking in to free-agent relief pitchers, having been connected in recent days to John Axford and Kevin Gregg (Duquette, Dec. 11), as well as Chris Perez (Rubin, Dec. 9) and Mitchell Boggs (Sherman, Dec. 9).
Parnell was placed on the disabled list on August 6 – retroactive to July 31 – and did not pitch again in 2013. He had a a 2.16 ERA with 22 saves in 49 games this season.
Michael Baron, Contributor
It’s pretty evident the Mets are concerned about Parnell‘s status. It seems they’re trying to find multiple options – along with Vic Black – as insurance for Parnell, in the event he isn’t healthy or has issues bouncing back from his neck surgery. Perez really struggled for the Indians in 2013 thanks in part to the home run ball and an increased walk rate. His fastball velocity dipped last year as well, which could have been the foundation of his problems. But he recorded 35-plus saves in each of 2011 and 2012, so he does provide the experience the Mets could be seeking at the back-end of the bullpen. Worst case, he could prove to be the solid, right-handed setup presence they lost when LaTroy Hawkins left for Colorado.