Parnell working on slider

Though nothing official has been said, Bobby Parnell will be the eighth-inning set-up reliever, even if he’s not convinced himself.

“Nobody has told me what I’ll be doing,’’ said Parnell before leaving for spring training. Even now, after a solid spring and no apparent competition, he’s not convinced.

PARNELL: The future closer.

“I still feel like I’m fighting for it,’’ he told reporters yesterday. “I would say that I have a better shot this year than I did last year. Last year, everything was still up in the air _ I was still fighting for a spot, I didn’t really know what was going on.’’

Two years ago, the Mets gave Parnell a handful of starts, but he fizzled and then manager Jerry Manuel gave up on him. No regrets, said Parnell, who said he the experience was beneficial.

“It was a good thing,’’ Parnell recently told me. “It gave me a chance to work on other pitches. I know you can’t get by one pitch, that being a 98 mph. fastball that sometimes touch triple digits.

The conventional thinking then was Parnell needed a change-up, but he’s all but shelved that and is throwing a slider.

“I throw it more than fastballs right now, because I want to be able to feel comfortable with it,’’ Parnell said yesterday. “Working on that more than working on that third pitch, I think it’s helped me a lot. Because I’m more crisp with my first two pitches instead of having a good fastball and two average pitches.’’

Although Parnell is pleased with his progress, he admits he still needs to feel comfortable throwing in traditional fastball situations when he needs a strikeout.

Parnell sees himself as a reliever who no longer has starting stars in his eyes. He’s better for it because he’s concentrating on one job, not something down the road.

Assuming –and it is a logical conclusion – Parnell will get that opportunity next spring because the Mets aren’t expected to pick of Francisco Rodriguez’s option, which kicks in at $17.5 million should he complete 55 games, and that doesn’t solely include saves.

I thought the Mets made a mistake last season in going with Hisanori Takahashi in save situations when Rodriguez went down because Parnell clearly represents the future.


3 thoughts on “Parnell working on slider

  1. yeah. he needs more than one pitch.

    and sybil didnt pitch him because he wanted to coach again. its not about the team, its about saving his job.

    of course taki got rewarded for his efforts.

  2. dave (1): He had no chance to save his job. Shows how much he had the pulse of the situation. And, yes, Taki was rewarded. So, too was Feliciano for that matter.-JD

  3. ahh the legacy of M&M has surpassed the Steve Phillips’ years. I never thought there would be another set of years as bad. but I was proven wrong.