New York Mets closer Bobby Parnell said he cleared a “mental hurdle’’ after throwing a 35-pitch batting practice this morning. Parnell threw to David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Eric Young. He threw a mix of curveballs and fastballs.
Parnell was especially satisfied with his command, and that he experienced no discomfort when he followed batted balls with his head.
“Going early like this, you don’t expect to be perfect,’’ Parnell told reporters. “By no means was I, but everything was down and I feel like I can work off that really well. … I didn’t know how I’d react to balls off the bat. I try not to do a lot of herky-jerky stuff with my neck.’’
Incidentally, Parnell’s session marked the first on-field work for Young, who had been sidelined with a strained muscle in his side.
Young is not expected to play in an exhibition game until early next week.
In another injury-related item, Jonathon Niese (sore shoulder) and Bartolo Colon (tight calf) played catch. There is no word when either will throw off a mound next.
Here’s today’s starting line-up against Miami:
Chris Young, cf: Leading off for the second straight game.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, rf: Seems to have fallen off the map.
Andrew Brown, dh: Likely minor league candidate.
Lucas Duda, 1b: Had a hit Friday. Makes first appearance at first.
Zach Lutz, 3b: Replaces Wright again.
Taylor Teagarden, c: Makes first appearance.
Matt den Dekker, lf: Coming back from stomach virus
Anthony Seratelli, 2b: Long-shot to make team.
Omar Quintanilla, ss: Will stick as infield reserve.
John Lannan, lhp: Fifth-starter candidate.