Mets RHP Bobby Parnell: 'I'm still the closer'
NEW YORK (AP)
Parnell didn't pitch after July 30 and had surgery Sept. 10 to repair a herniated disk in his neck. He has been working out in Florida.
''In my head I feel like I'm still the closer. I'm going to go along with that until told otherwise,'' Parnell said during a conference call Thursday. ''I feel healthy. I feel like there's plenty of time to get into baseball shape, and so I came down early to make sure that I didn't have to jump into anything too hard.''
Parnell was 5-5 with a career-best 2.16 ERA last year and 22 saves in 26 chances. LaTroy Hawkins, who took over the closer's role when Parnell went on the disabled list, became a free agent and signed a $2.5 million, one-year contract with Colorado.
Parnell said he lost about 10-13 pounds after the surgery but is now back at 207 or 208.
''At this time, I don't feel like there is any question that I will be ready,'' he said.
''I feel good. I've been throwing. I've not been sore after throwing. The only thing that I'm going to take my time with is lifting weights and getting my strength back up. Right now I feel like my arm is strong. I feel like my body's put together,'' he said.
Eligible for free agency after the 2015 season, Parnell was among seven Mets who filed for arbitration this week.
Shortstop Ruben Tejada settled, agreeing Wednesday night to a $1.1 million, one-year deal. First baseman Ike Davis agreed Thursday to a $3.5 million, one-year contract, and left fielder Eric Young Jr. has a $1.85 million, one-year deal set to be announced Friday.
The speedy Young was a pleasant surprise in the leadoff spot last season after he was acquired from Colorado in June for pitcher Collin McHugh. Young led the NL with 46 stolen bases and made $492,000.
Tejada and Davis, however, both slumped badly last season and got demoted to the minors. After getting recalled, each sustained a season-ending injury in September.
Tejada's salary was $514,701 last year, when he batted .202 with no homers, 10 RBIs and a paltry .519 OPS in 57 games.
Davis made $3,125,000 and hit .205 with nine homers and 33 RBIs in 103 games. He struck out 101 times in 317 at-bats.