I was all set today to write that the New York Mets need to end the Bobby Parnell as a starter experiment. Well, the Mets beat me to the punch.
According to the New York Post, Parnell will pitch out of the bullpen for the rest of the season. Stop the presses, the Mets have made a smart decision. I knew it would happen someday.
I am still not sure whether or not the Mets made Parnell a starter because they actually thought he was better suited as a starter or because the Mets had no other options to fill out the rotation. Either way, it’s so blatantly obvious that Parnell is better suited as a reliever.
Forget about the stats in which Parnell is 1-5 with a 7.93 ERA as a starter and has a 3.74 ERA as a reliever. Parnell doesn’t have enough quality pitches to get major-league hitters out two, three, or even four times.
Parnell has a plus fastball and a mediocre at best slider. That’s one and a half pitches. You need two plus pitches in order to sustain success at the major-league level. And in most cases, you probably need three.
Parnell’s stuff and makeup is much better suited to be a reliever. When he is in the pen, he can get his fastball up to 98-99 mph. That, coupled with an improving slider can get hitters out one-time through the lineup.
Parnell can be that bridge in 2010 to Francisco Rodriguez. The Mets could also groom Parnell to be the closer of the future. Rodriguez only has two more years left on his deal and it’s never too early to start thinking ahead.
Parnell belongs in the bullpen. I am glad the Mets finally see it that way also.