Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Should Parnell Be Closing?

With Francisco Rodriguez’s season over due to his scuffle with his common-law Father-In-Law and lousy right hook, the Mets have been using Hisanori Takahashi as their closer and he’s done a pretty good job. The Mets have actually picked up a game and half in the wildcard standings the last two days and are likely to keep things as they are as they try and see if they can somehow worm their way into playoff contention (as slim a chance it is) over the next two weeks.

However if things do not go the Mets way (and likely it will not, even if the Mets are able to lift their play to the level they were at in May and June) I have to wonder if the Mets would be better served by letting Bobby Parnell have a go at closing.

I think that the idea has some serious merit. I thought I was alone in the thought until I read a post saying the same thing from Matt Cerone over at Parnell had a small period where he struggled not too long ago, but has been pretty spectaular since and overall has had a good season. The main thing is though, that the guy can bring some serious heat (he hit 101 in a recent game against the Houston Astros and 99 a number of times against the Pittsburg Pirates) and he’s young (only 25, compared to Takahashi’s 34). Looking at the volatile situations concerning closers these days, it would behoove the Mets to see if they have a very inexpensive alternative to close other than K-Rod or even just going forward for life after him.

At this point, it’s kind of obvious the Mets are looking to push forward with the idea of prospects and home grown players being a huge part of this team going into 2011 and beyond. Ike Davis is the 1st baseman. I think Ruben Tejada has the advantage on the 2nd base job for next year if he can show this season he can hit at least a little bit (with Daniel Murphy being more of a threat to him for next year than Luis Castillo is) . Jenrry Mejia is widely expected to be on the roster next year, either in the bullpen or give a shot to start. Kirk Nieuwenuis, Dillon Gee, Fernando Martinez and Pat Misch will all have a serious shot at making the team in 2011. Isn’t it a good idea to get at least a notion if Parnell has the ability to close and bounce back after a bad outing in a pressure situation?

It’s worth investigating the idea. If the Mets really are going to be a more thrifty team going forward and the young movement seems to be on the forefront of business, then they should see if they have an important cog now, and not wait until later. The Mets have a habit of putting themselves in a position to scramble, and it would be a good idea to avoid that.

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